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Creating a completely new culture from scratch can be a daunting task. Think about everything the word culture encompasses—music, food, clothing, etiquette, dance, religion, and combative traditions, to name a few, and even if one manages to pull it off, one runs the risk of ruining audience's Suspension of Disbelief by having one's creation seem too strange. To lighten the burden of creating a believable fictional culture creators often base one or more of their creations off of real human cultures from various times or places. The countries may have significant names resembling the place they are based on.

This is especially common in fantasy settings, but by no means exclusive to it. It's also often found in satire, as a means of indirectly poking fun at the culture in question.

There are also sound literary reasons for using this trope. Making the Shire an idealized England transplanted to Middle-earth makes it easier for readers to identify with the point of view characters, since they probably have much more in common with Bilbo than with Thorin. Guy Gavriel Kay's The Lions of Al-Rassan is a thinly disguised historical novel, but changing the names of the countries and religions means the readers don't know how the story will end, helping to maintain dramatic tension.

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It's also more easily justified in works containing humans: the Real Life counterparts of the fictional cultures have all actually come into existence and are the results of real groups of people coming together to build something over time. Basing a new society on one that's already had a turn at some point in human history can both help the audience relate and provide a creative framework to twist and turn said society into an interesting variant of its former self. However this approach still has its risks — if the Fantasy Counterpart Culture is based on a too simplistic view of a particular region of the world, it ends up lacking both in depth and originality.

Compare with Istanbul (Not Constantinople), when a real place is referred to with a more archaic or obscure name (e.g. "Columbia" instead of "USA"). Compare also with Days of Future Past, where a futuristic society duplicates (often explicitly and intentionally) the culture and styles of a historical period. Compare with No Communities Were Harmed, which is this applied to a locality, and Fantasy Counterpart Religion for when is applied to a religious group. Compare Fantastic Fauna Counterpart for a similar concept applied to animals, i.e. an animal species being used as a substitute for another.

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See also Culture Chop Suey, Space Romans (and the more offensive version, Space Jews). A Nazi by Any Other Name, Medieval European Fantasy and Wutai are frequently-occurring specific types of fantasy counterpart culture.


Example subpages:

Other examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Attack on Titan, the culture within the Walls seems to borrow heavily from Germany. The Shogun/Oriental clan that Mikasa is descended from appears to be based on Japan. Once the world outside the Walls is introduced, things go further with the introduced groups all resembling early 20th century cultures. Marley is Nazi Germany, with its captive Eldian population dressing (and treated) like European Jews of the same era. Hizuru is based on Japan, and the Middle-East Union appears to be based on the Ottoman Empire. We also see that some of the Anti-Marleyan volunteers were came from Marley-occupied nations that appears to be based on Russia (Yelena) and an African nation (Onyankopon).
  • Berserk: Midland is medieval Denmark, Kushan is a combination of India and the Middle East (but mostly India, it is named after the Kushan Empire), Chuder/Tudor is most likely based on the medieval Holy Roman Empire, Serpico and Farnese's homeland is Italy (with the Holy See as a stand-in for the Papal States), Farnese's fiance's homeland Ys seems based on England.
  • The Elf Tribe from Black Clover is one of the Biblical Jews. The elves are a race "blessed by mana" similar to the belief that the Jews are the chosen people of God. The elves were massacred by the Clover Kingdom, a country with Roman names including "Julius", "Augustus", and "Nero", drawing a parallel to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman Empire. The Kabbalah is heavily associated with the elves, with their strongest members comprising the Apostles of Sephira and the elves reincarnated by placing the magic stones in the Tree of Life Monument. Elves like Kivn have Hebrew-inspired names, and they are resurrected using a spell named "Noad Nephesh", Hebrew for "destined soul". Patry's first outfit has him wear a kippah, a traditional Jewish cap.
  • Roshtaria and the other human lands of El-Hazard: The Magnificent World are fantasy stand-ins for the Middle East of the Arabian Nights.
  • For the Evillious Chronicles franchise, all of the setting is inspired by real world countries and their cultures. It takes place on the fictional continent of Bolganio, which is overall Eurasia, with the titular region of Evillious being Europe. In Evillious, the country of Lucifenia is France, Elphegort is Germany, Marlon is Great Britain (with a country that's absorbed into it, Lioness, as Ireland,) Asmodean is the Arabian Peninsula (with Eastern European elements), Beelzenia is Italy/Spain, Levianta is Russia, and at one time there is the Tasan Empire which parallels Ancient Rome with Beelzenia. Some of these countries later form the Union State of Evillious, representing the modern European Union, and on the Eastern side of the continent in a Japan parallel. Off the continent is Maistia, which parallels the Americas.
  • The Familiar of Zero takes place in a suspiciously medieval European setting. Based on the names (which are simply archaic names for the nations they represent), Tristain is Belgium or the Netherlands, Albion is Britain (complete with a rebel leader named Cromwell), Gallia is France, Romalia is Italy, and Germania is (obviously) Germany.
    • This is a little more complex. Halkeginia (Europe counterpart) is loosely based on seventeenth century Europe: the Kingdom of Gallia is the Kingdom of France with some Spain in it, the Kingdom/Holy Republic of Albion are respectively the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth Republic (with some Germany in it), the Holy Empire of Romalia is the Papal States (other parts of modern Italy don't have equivalents), the Empire of Germania is a combination of Germany, seventeenth century Austria and seventeenth century Poland, the Kingdom of Tristain is the Netherlands with some France in it, the Grand Duchy of Grudenholf is Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (and, as seventeenth century Luxembourg is under Austrian Netherlands rule, is under Tristain rule). There is also an unnamed state which could be Spain or Portugal. Outside of Halkeginia, there is also elfans' states like Sahara (Ottoman Empire) or humans' like Rub Al'khali (probably the Emirate of Diriyah).
  • Shinka in Flower Flower is a counterpart to India.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • The country of Amestris is based on a combination of European countries. It's ruled by a military dictatorship similar to Nazi Germany, but they speak English, and the military ranks are also English based (with the rank of Field Marshal replaced with the rank of Führer); however, their badges to denote their rank are inspired by Imperial Japan. Character names are based on names found in various European nations such as the U.K and France. The technology used is the same or similar to the technology found around World War II.
    • Xing from the manga is the counterpart of the East Asian countries, most prominently China, though Fu and Lan Fan have obviously ninja-influenced fighting styles and weaponry and Ling wears sarashi, so there's a little bit of Japan in there, too.
    • Ishval is perhaps the counterpart of the Western Asian countries, but their persecution by Amestris is heavily based on the plight of the Ainu people in Japan.
    • Additionally, Drachma is the counterpart to Russia, Xerxes seems to represent a mix of ancient European and Near-East civilizations, most predominately Greece, Persia, and maybe Rome, and the Japanese-exclusive Brotherhood/Mangaverse games seem to suggest that Aerugo is FMA's version of Italy.
    • In the 2003 anime version only, we find out this is literal, as Amestris is an actual Alternate Universe version of central/eastern Europe in the 1920s.
    • Paninya, Jerso, Focker, and an unnamed Central Library employee (anime only) are all black, implying that there's likely an Alternate Universe equivalent of the African continent as well.
    • There is no Xing in the 2003 anime-verse; however, a passing reference to an eastern country, along with chopsticks and Asian-looking characters existing, imply a similar country exists.
    • Judging by the name, Sciezka/Sheska could be from a FMA counterpart of Poland (or said Poland-counterpart could be part of Amestris).
  • Fushigi Yuugi has each of the locations in the Universe Of The Four Gods designed after a real-world counterpart.
    • Kounan (the realm led by Suzaku and Miaka) is basically Southern Imperial China.
    • Kutou (protected by Seiryuu and Yui) is Eastern Imperial China.
    • Sairou (represented by Byakko and Suzuno) is based on Western China and The Silk Road.
    • Hokkan (under the watchful eye of Genbu and Takiko) is based off of Inner and Outer Mongolia.
  • Basically every planet that's not a Planet of Hats in Galaxy Express 999 ends up being one of these.
    • Dozens of planets are clones of The Wild West — it pretty much seems to be the default setting for a planet in this universe.
    • "The Planet of a Pint Sized Room" is an exact doppelganger of early-60s Tokyo complete with a college-aged Expy of the creator in his starving artist phase.
    • Planet Prometheum and Idle Reflection are very unflattering Eagle Lands (Type 1 and 2 respectively.)
    • Masspron is China.
    • The Planet of Forgotten Parents is the Philippines.
    • Planet Kilimanjaro's Grasshopper Men are white African settlers.
    • The other Planet Kilimanjaronote  is WWI-era Europe.
    • Planet Fury is New York City.
    • Planet Future is Canada.
    • The Planet of Illusive Love is Gay Paree complete with berets, baguettes, and a Foreign Legion.
    • Windy Hill is Scotland.
    • The Cheyenne Fish are Native Americans, the Waterpress are white settlers. (Just how a New World-Old World scenario managed to develop on a Water Planet is not explained.)
  • There are a few in Hunter × Hunter as well, though they tend to deviate sharply from what they're based on:
    • The Republic of East Gorteau has a number of similarities to North Korea. The most obvious is its dictator, Ming Jol-Ik, whose name is an anagram of Kim Jong-Il, though his style of ruling—via cult of personality and with an incredibly uneven mix of technology, alongside extremely strict rules of who can get in and out of the country—suggest that too.
    • Kakin appears to be the series's version of China. The royal family have the name of Hui Guo Ruo, the Chinese phrase for twice-cooked pork, and the emperor has a very stereotypically Chinese look. The country is depicted as an emerging world power, quickly gaining influence and able to gain leverage with the rest of the world. Kakin is also located on the continent of Azia (though it's actually pronounced "AH-zee-ah")
    • A counterpart to Japan exists as well, with the ninja Hanzo coming from that country. He is one of the few characters to know what sushi is.
    • Though it's unclear if Yorknew City is its own country or part of a larger one, the architecture, dense population, and fashion of the area, as well as its name and the fact that one of the world's busiest airports is located there, definitely evoke New York City.
  • In Knights of Sidonia, Sidonia is basically Japan IN SPACE!!!
  • Many of the nations in Kyou Kara Maou! are vague approximations of Real Life nations, with Makoku being Medieval Europe and Konanshia-Subererea being the Middle East, among others. One of the most obvious is the Shildkraut nation. We are originally led to believe it's a parallel to Japanese hot spring towns, but then it's then used for a Viva Las Vegas! episode, right down to the lights being recreated with magical stones.
  • Almost all of the countries in Lapis Re:LiGHTs are very clearly fantastic equivalents of real world nations. The most blatant of them all is Yamato, which is Japan in all but name with its culture, the traditional performing arts that the band Kono Hana wa Otome fuses with its rock music, and even its food like sweet red bean paste. Other examples include the main setting Waleland, which appears to be based off of Britain, its neighbours Dortdgard (Germany), Firenza (Italy), and Marlseillu (France), and the other "Far East" country Ryuuto (China).
  • Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic has a lot, but the most prominent ones include the Kou Empire, which is Ancient China, and the Reim Empire, which is the Roman Empire. Other notable examples include Heliohapt being Egypt, Sasan being ancient Persia, Kina being Japan while Imuchakk looks like a hybrid of Inuit and Norsemen.
  • Two of the three invading countries in the second season of Magic Knight Rayearth are clearly based off of Earth cultures. Fahren is mostly based off of Chinese culture and stereotypes, although it does have a few Japanese things (such as ninjas). This is explicitly lampshaded by Fuu. Chizeta's culture seems to be based off of Middle-Eastern and Indian cultures, and the princesses fight using Djinn. However, they also have Osakan accents. Autozam's highly technological culture, while not as clear cut as Chizeta or Fahren, has a few parallels with the United States of America: the President's son is named Eagle Vision, the military has green berets, strongest of the three superpowers, and so on.
  • In Mai-Otome, set in the distant future on another planet, there are some more or less evident matches between fictional and real nations, at least judging by the names of known inhabitants. Artai seems to be an Eastern European/Slavic/Chinese nation, Florince is France, the United Kingdom of Lutesia is a blend of ancient Rome and modern Italy, Aries is the United States, Annam is Vietnam, and Zipang is Japan (in fact, for the last two, those are real-world, if ancient, monikers for these countries).
    • Altai is named after a region that's adjacent to China, Russia and West Asia.
  • There is a major case going on in Maiden Rose where half the countries aren't named but are easily culturally identifiable. Klaus comes from a small German state that was conquered by the Western Alliance superstate, also primarily German. This superstate is fighting the Eurotean superstate, which has pre-revolution Russia as the dominant culture. Eurote in turn subdued Taki's country, an unquestionable Japan analogue. If it weren't for the Magical Realism the story would probably be an outright Alternate History.
  • The Vagan civilians in Mobile Suit Gundam Age dress and build in very Middle-Eastern style, while their soldiers and upper class dress in Space Clothes and feudal Japanese styles.
    • In the Universal Century, the different forms of Zeon all have an aesthetic based predominantly on Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. The Federation in general is a mix of the US with the uniforms of the Imperial Japanese Army. The Zanscare Empire meanwhile seems to be both the Ancien Regime and Revolutionary France IN SPACE.
  • Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit takes place in an Alternate Earth with an Alternate Ancient Far East, specifically Korea.
  • One Piece:
    • The island nation of Wa-no-Kuni is clearly this for feudal Japan, what with its isolationism and its samurai. ("Wa-no-kuni" is in fact an old way to refer to Japan.)
    • Further on, the Shandians are pretty clear analogues for disenfranchised and displaced Native American populations.
    • Alabasta is a fairly obvious portrayal of Ancient Egypt (with additional Middle Eastern influencing).
    • Water Seven looks very much like Venice, particularly its trademark channels crisscrossing the island and the fact that it's slowly sinking.
    • The duel between Ace and Blackbeard takes place on Banaro Island, an island that looks like The American West. It was a town filled mostly with taverns and cowboys with guns.
    • Dressrosa looks like a combination of Spain and the Island of Misfit Toys.
    • The city that Trafalgar Law hails from, Flevance, seemingly takes cues from Casale Monferrato, as both are nicknamed "The White City" and are prosperous because of the materials that are exclusive to their city, the Amber Lead (Flevance) and the asbestos (Casale Monferrato), and both materials are also toxic.
    • The Flower Kingdom is unmistakably one for feudal China, boasting pagodas, martial artists, and those really tall, narrow mountains.
    • Elbaf is based on medieval Scandinavia, particularly Viking culture, as can be seen by the inhabitants' horned helmets, thatch houses, and that they travel via longboats.
    • Speaking of the Vikings, the Whole Cake Island arc introduces the Germa Kingdom. A kingdom of rapacious pillagers and conquerors who plough the seas on massive ships and favor big crumbling castles, they might be a fantasy version of Vikings. They even use a Nordic cross in their decorations. For the record, Eiichiro Oda has described the Vikings as his favorite band of historical pirates.
    • The Reverie arc introduces a number of nations that have clear analogues to real-world places: Ballywood is based on the United States (including a "King Ham Burger" who resembles Abraham Lincoln), the Kingdom of the Dead is based on Mexico, Roshwan Kingdom is based on Russia, and Tajine Kingdom is based on Morocco. There are also unnamed delegates who strongly suggest there are countries in the One Piece world themed on the United Kingdomnote , on Germany, and on the Inuit as well.
      • Mariejois itself seems more politically structured like The Vatican, but Pangaea Castle itself is designed after the Château de Chambord in France, so it's likely that the rest of the city is designed after the Loir-et-Cher region in France.
  • The six countries in Saber Marionette J are based on the countries their founders came from. Japoness is based on feudal-era Japan, Xian is based on Imperial China, Romana is like a mix of Roman and Renaissance Italy, Peterburg is a mix of Czarist and Soviet Russia, Gartland is Nazi Germany, and New Texas is based on modern-day United States.
  • The titular state in Saiunkoku Monogatari is a fantasy counterpart of Imperial China, especially that of the Tang and Song Dynasties.
  • Shaman King: Patch and Seminoa sounded a lot like Apache and Seminole. But the similarity is only linguistic. Not to mention the fact that the Big Bad has the name Hao, which is strangely similar to "How" (the stereotypical greeting used by the natives of North American in fiction).
  • Shin Angyo Onshi takes place in a recently-fallen empire very similar to early modern Korea; several characters are foreigners from what seems to be Europe.
  • Strike Witches is very guilty of this, considering it's set in an alternate version of Earth during World War II. Based on the names of various characters, the Fuso Empire is Japan, Liberion is the United States, Karlsland is Germany (minus Those Wacky Nazis), Suomus is Finland, Orussia is Russia, Romagna is Italy, Gallia (no not that oneor that one) is France, and Britannia (not that one either) goes without saying. References are also made to Real Life locations, such as London, Yokosuka, and the Ural Mountains. Some of the Real Life currencies also carry over: While stationed in Britannia, the main character is paid in pounds, and Fuso's currency is the yen.
  • Hatz from Tower of God is so obviously Japanese that it hurts.
  • Trinity Blood: Though it takes place in the distant future, the Methuselah/New-Human Empire is an amalgamation of the Byzantine Empire, several Eastern European nations and has some slight Arabic/Ottoman influences. Their capital is called Byzantium, their language is a mix of Russian and Romanian and their currency as called Akçe (the same as the Ottoman Empire's).
  • Nihon-koku in Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE- is quite obviously a mixture of a magical and historical version of our Japan. It's actually noted upon in-universe when the gang arrives at Ichihara Yuuko's shop for the first time and she tells Kurogane that her Japan is his Japan too, just a different version of it.
  • The Twelve Kingdoms takes place in an Alternate Universe where a very strongly enforced divine mandate means that all twelve eponymous kingdoms are for all intents and purposes Ancient China.
  • Some of the countries in Utawarerumono apparently takes place in real places in Japan. The protagonist's country is based on feudal Ezo (that's Hokkaido) with the people emulating Ainu culture but the most blatant one would be Shikeripetim which looks like a carbon copy of feudal Kyoto! Possibly justified in that the story takes place on Earth a long time After the End of human civilization, where the Little Bit Beastly survivors managed to recreate a low-tech agrarian society.

    Comic Books 
  • Given Frank Miller's outspoken views on The War on Terror, a number of critics suggested that the Spartans and the Persian Empire in 300 represent the United States and Middle Eastern Terrorists respectively, in a strange example of real (albeit very fictionalised versions of) historical cultures acting as allegories for modern ones. The Iranians apparently agreed with this assessment, and banned the film adaptation as a result. However, other readers (particularly those of a more cynical bent) have read precisely the opposite into the story, seeing the arrogant, bullying Persian superpower as representative of Type 2 Eagleland and the fanatical, outmatched Spartans as representative of Middle Eastern insurgents. It should probably be noted that the original comic was first published in 1998 and was inspired by the 1962 film The 300 Spartans, which is often considered to be a metaphor for the Cold War.
  • The people of Gemworld in Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld are a mix of medieval European cultures. It is revealed midway through the mini-series that the Gemworlders are actually refugees from Earth's ancient times, who fled to the Gemworld after a celestial event altered how magic works in Earth's dimension.
  • In Beyond the Western Deep, each of the Funny Animal nations have at least identifiable cultural analogues in the real world, if not particularly evident due to the species based trappings: Sungrove is obviously regular medieval Europe (with Tamian mythology have Native American-esque aspects, and the Lutren having Polynesian traits), the Felis are by creator admission based on both the Roman Empire and medieval China, the Canids resemble both the Roman Empire and medieval northern Europe, the Ermehn resemble Germanic peoples (and bear a passing aesthetic similarity to Scotsmen), the Vulpin are clearly Arabic and the Polcan look like stereotypical pirates, but overall can be more easily compared to Sea Peoples.
  • Boneville in Bone is clearly a cartoon version of the United States of America.
  • Angor (a.k.a. Earth 8) from The DCU is very similar to the real world but with a few superficial differences. Doubles as an obvious pastiche of Marvel Universe, as its populated with analogues of the Avengers/Ultimates and villains like Dr. Doom.
  • Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog's planet Mobius has long had stand-in cultures for Asia and Australia... but this was finally justified by the revelation that Mobius is actually Earth of the far, far future.
  • Wolfskin: It's never mentioned what the name of Wolfskins race is, but he and they are fairly obviously Vikings. There's also the Noi who resemble Samurai in look, but whose knowledge of gunpowder puts them closer to the ancient Chinese.
  • The country of Dystopia in Requiem Vampire Knight is a demonic version of England inhabited by lizard people whose queen resembles Elizabeth I (its heavily implied that it might as well be her) and their capital city is named Donlon. Their greatest heroes are also twisted, hellish versions of the Knights of the Round Table with King Arthur and Lancelot being dragon knights and Merlin being an talking egg.

    Films — Animated 
  • Barbie:
    • The kingdoms in Rapunzel and 12 Dancing Princesses are Germany.
    • The kingdom in Magic of Pegasus is Dutch, as some of the outfits look Dutch and the protagonist's name (Annika) is Dutch.

  • Disney Animated Canon:
    • Earlier Disney Princess movies didn't identify the settings by name, but most of them derived part of their aesthetic from real-world cultures. Cinderella has a vaguely French setting, the world of Sleeping Beauty was an English Chivalric Romance but appears to also be set somewhere in France in the 14th Century (that is made explicit in the movie), Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs appears to be set in Germany in the 15th Century.
      • Beauty and the Beast specificially states that it takes place in France ("Marie! The Bagettes!"), but some people claim that it has elements of a Bavaria-like principality.
    • Despite Aladdin taking place in an Arabian counterpart, its major design inspiration was a neighbor of the Middle East, Iran — homeland of the script supervisor, who brought pictures of his city, and of Persian miniatures. Shades of the curved Arabic calligraphy are still seen, specially in how words (and credits) are written. note 
    • Rapunzel's home kingdom of Corona in Tangled is somewhere in a counterpart to France, roughly where Tours is in the real world (confirmed by the Tangled: The Series finale episode "Plus Est En Vous"). There are also six kingdoms neighboring Corona, Koto, Neserdnia, Bayangor, Galcrest, Pittsford and Ingvarr. Including Corona itself, they are called "The Seven Kingdoms". Other kingdoms mentioned are Saporia and the Dark Kingdom. Although the scenery, clothes and almost all of the names are German, so that's inconsistent and senseless.
  • Frozen is one of the few Disney series that explicitly features numerous fictional counterpart countries in one universe:
    • There is confusion over whether Arendelle is a city-state or a country as there are implications of both. "Frozen Fever" depicts it as a Norway substitute. However, in response to backlash over putting Arendelle into Epcot's Norway pavilion, "Olaf's Frozen Adventure" has veered more into city-state territory and stressing that Arendelle exists within (or at least within the same world as an) actual Norway (as we see a baker with a gingerbread cookie shaped like Norwaynote ). Nevertheless, Arendelle is a fantasy counterpart to Norway.
    • The Southern Isles is revealed in "Frozen Fever" to take the place of Denmark.
    • According to The Cameo of Rapunzel and Eugene, Corona from Tangled exists in the same universe as Frozen. That means Corona takes the place of one of the German states pre-German Unification.
    • In the comic "Feels Like Home", royalty from the country of Yuwabe arrive in Arendelle. Yuwabe is clearly an African country, with the queen's name (Mahereb) and their enjoyment of cassava implying it's a counterpart to a West African country.
    • Vakretta, Chatho, Zaria, Kongsberg, Blavenia, Seven Islands, Riverland, and Eldora appear in the A Frozen Heart and Anna & Elsa books but, like Weselton from Frozen, aren't specified as counterparts to anything specific. It's unclear if they're standard Fictional Countries or not. Eldora has a mix of Arabic and Spanish aspects, but it's still too vague to pin it as being a counterpart to any specific country.
    • In Frozen II, the Northuldra tribe are the Frozen counterpart to the real-life Sámi people. They live in the forests north of Arendelle (the fantasy counterpart of Norway), herd reindeer, are nomadic, and have suffered historical discrimination from one of Arendelle's previous leaders.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The 2007 Canadian sci-fi short Food for the Gods featured a majority Asian cast playing a tribe situated on a distant planet similar to Native Americans as well as being rich in Asian themes, including a backstory referencing prehistoric Japan, and a fictional subtitled language that is loosely derived from Japanese and other Asian language influences.
  • The Hobbit film series:
    • The Dale appears to be modeled on Russia or Hungary, though with predominantly Northern accents.
    • The Dwarves' lack of homeland is based on Jewish culture, though little else in their culture feels Jewish.
    • In The Battle of the Five Armies, the Ironfoot dwarves have a Roman theme going for them. Their leader wears a helmet with a centurion-style crest and they fight in the turtle formation.
  • Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the clothes, architecture, and cultures were clearly inspired by Real Life historical cultures just as in the books.
    • Rohan is reminiscent of the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings. An invented scene features a song in the Old English language.
    • Gondor is reminiscent of the Byzantine Roman Empire as well as Late Medieval Western Europe in general.
    • The Shire is reminiscent of an idealized rural England, and also has a lot of Irish elements, particularly their dance and music. There is a lot of crossover between old English and Irish dance/music. Tolkien used familiar stereotypes of English yokels, but Hollywood comic peasants are always Scotirish, hence the mixture. And hence Pippin's Scottish accent although he is Frodo's cousin (and although most of the Shire, including Sam, and even Merry — another cousin — use the generic country accent known to English actors as "Mummerset.")
  • Despite taking place in a Like Reality Unless Noted universe, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has a few examples:
    • Asgard, despite the Norse Mythology aesthetic, is actually more similar to the present day United Kingdom, with a backstory not dissimilar to the British Empire. Asgard itself is physically small but controls several client states across the universe, and it's made clear in Ragnarok that it got that way through a period of brutal conquest that it is now ashamed of (though unlike Odin, the UK doesn't just pretend it never happened).
    • The fashions and aesthetics of Wakanda were purposefully designed to resemble a variety of cultures from all over Africa, but in terms of its culture it's most similar to the Mali Empire: A nation founded by an alliance of several tribes, with an economy founded on an absurd wealth of a resource that is rare in the rest of the world (Gold for Mali, Vibranium for Wakanda).
      • Wakanda is also Not So Different from the United States of America. It's a global superpower that was founded by immigrants from various cultures, and in the present day has been forced to realize that it should be doing more with its power and wealth and is now forced to decide between helping the outside world or outright controlling it. In this metaphor, T'Challa loosely stands in for Theodore Roosevelt, who broke the United States' isolationists policies and turned it into a major diplomatic player. Discussing this parallel makes up a lot of the running time of Black Panther.
    • The Kree Empire on the surface seem to just be the "Aliens as Nazis" variety of Scary Dogmatic Aliens, what with their Fantastic Racism, neo-fascist policies, and aggressive military expansionism. However, both Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Captain Marvel show them to ultimately be closer to Imperial Japan, what with their fanatical belief in a God-Emperor (here in the form of the Supreme Intelligence), practicing the brutal enslavement of "lesser races", and having long-lasting family dynasties that feel suicide attacks are the only proper penance for cowardice/retreat. Even the ancient Kree experiments that ultimately resulted in the creation of the Inhumans have their roots in the infamous Unit 731 atrocities.
  • Most of the design of the Telmarine on Prince Caspian are admitted to be based on Medieval Spain. Bringing some criticism and implications...
    • Which kinda makes sense, seeing as Prince Caspian was apparently an allegory for the Protestant Reformation and subsequent conflicts. One illustrator for the books gave Miraz a shield with the Holy Roman Empire's two-headed eagle.
    • And the Telmarines are descended from old naval era brigands. But remember, the good Narnian humans of the subsequent books are Telmarines, not to mention Caspian himself. Only this one movie would feature Telmarine antagonists, and apparently the common people backed Caspian over Miraz given the parade at the end.
  • The Star Wars films contain a few among the Culture Chop Suey:
    • The forest moon of Endor is, to some extent, an equivalent of Darkest Africa in a galaxy far, far away. The Ewoks themselves are very, very similar to African pygmy tribes and Hollywood Natives. When convinced to aid the Rebels against the Empire, the Ewoks become forest-dwelling primitive insurgents just like the Viet Cong.
    • Some fantasy counterpart cultures verge on Space Jews territory:
      • Tuskens resemble Bedouins, but were inspired by the way Native Americans are portrayed in old Westerns.
      • Neimoidians have been accused of representing Asian cultures and Yellow Peril stereotypes.
      • In The Mandalorian, the Mandalorian tribes and clans come across like modern Judaism, with a diaspora of different sects with various levels of orthodoxy.
    • The Empire is basically Space Romans and A Nazi by Any Other Name, complete with The Queen's Latin.
    • In The Force Awakens, the First Order drops a lot of the Roman aesthetic in favour of a stark, harsh SS look — they were explicitly compared by JJ Abrams to Nazis who fled to South America following the end of World War II. However, supplementary materials explain that the Empire proper had a lot of limitations on what kind of weapons it could build after the original trilogy's Galactic Civil War. The Empire thus started building up a new army in secret, which is essentially what happened to Germany after World War One. Furthermore, given the fact that the Galaxy Far Far Away is now split between two ostensibly peaceful powers — the New Republic and the First Order — it is basically in a state of Cold War, with the mysterious and sinister First Order taking the place of the Soviet Union. Note that while the Empire got its Stormtroopers from willing recruits, the First Order takes children from their families and moulds them into ideal soldiers, echoing Cold War 'Communist brainwashing' fantasies. On the flip side, the Resistance is a rebel group funded illegally by the New Republic, not unlike the Viet Cong or the Contras.
    • Naboo, with its classical architecture, elaborate fashions, marshy terrain, and strong artistic and intellectual traditions, is somewhat akin to renaissance Italy.
    • The holy city of Jedha serving as an important site for believers in the Force, introduced in Rogue One is clearly meant to evoke a Middle Eastern site of religious pilgrimage like Mecca.
    • Star Wars Episode I: Racer introduces two planets based on pre-existing cultures on Earth: Ando Prime, an icy mountainous world inhabited by wise, peaceful monks and is the Galaxy's counterpart to Tibet; and Baroonda, a world of jungles and coastlines whose people refer to themselves as Majan, the Head Priestess wears a white cloak and sun-like headdress, and the races take place near the city of Majaneetza, together paralleling the Mayan Empire.
  • Cantinflas’ film Su Excelencia has the Cocos Republic as a surrogate for basically any Latin American country, although for obvious reasons it has many similarities with Mexico, even though the name and the apparent size of the country (which seems to be smaller than Mexico) are more reminiscent of some Central American and Caribbean states like the Dominican Republic, Guatemala (it has fictional Native American ruins), or Costa Rica (Costa Rica was neutral during the Cold War and has a place call Cocos Island). Dolaronia is clearly the United States of America, Pepeslavia is probably the USSR or Yugoslavia, Salchichonia is Germany (they even reference the Wall), and Caramba is India or Nepal, or both.

    Pinball 

    Video Games 
  • Almost all eastern video game RPGs contain at least one such country, usually modelled after Japan. See Wutai.
    • Other than the aforementioned Wutai, however, most Final Fantasy games are surprisingly good at inventing unrecognisably fantastic cultures aside from a few vague parallels. They are mostly Medieval European Fantasy of some kind, but with a lot of variation, Impossibly Cool Clothes, and Schizo Tech. A notable exception to this is Final Fantasy X, which based its setting on Okinawan culture.
    • Final Fantasy VI had Doma (Japan). This is more evident in the Japanese version where Cyan is a samurai, not a knight. Though his armor looks like a European knight's full plate with pauldrons, except with samurai aesthetic traits to it. Combined with Cyan (or Cayenne in Japanese), his wife Elayne and son Owain (the only named Doma characters) having very European names it's likely that Doma really is meant to be a mashup of Europe and Japan.
      • It's less obvious thanks to the limited architecture the game uses. All the castles have to look the same.
    • Final Fantasy VII has the Cetra, an ancient race of persecuted wanderers who are supposed to be the only ones with access to 'The Promised Land'. The main Cetra in the game (born to a non-Cetra father and a Cetra mother, but treated as completely Cetra) was living undercover in a household run by a non-Cetra, lying about her heritage in order to stop The Empire's agents finding her and taking her to have sadistic experiments done on her. Her mother was tortured to death by The Empire during the war (involving a culture known for ninja and samurai). Does This Remind You Of Anything?
      • Cosmo Canyon is a pueblo. Corel is vaguely Appalachian. Gold Saucer is based on Las Vegas. Midgar is probably based on Los Angeles or another symbol of American industrialization/urbanization taken to excess. Flashbacks show Tifa wearing a cowgirl hat, one sign in 7th Heaven declares "Texas", and although it's an English translation choice, Cloud's famous "Let's mosey" is Southern US English.
    • Final Fantasy IX had Conde Petie (Scotland).
    • Final Fantasy X had the Ronso (Ainu), and a lot of architecture and other trappings inspired by Southeast Asia. The Church of Yevon is somewhere between Shintoism (Yuna dresses a bit like a Miko) and the Catholic Church as written by Dan Brown (although this mostly comes from the English translation using words like 'Crusaders' and 'fayth').
    • In Final Fantasy XI, all four major city-states appear based on real-world nations. Historically, the Kingdom of San d'Oria was the most powerful nation, until the Republic of Bastok rapidly industrialised and overtook the Kingdom, making technological advances and founding numerous colonies. Of those colonies, one — Jeuno — gained independence as the Grand Duchy of Jeuno. In the aftermath of the Crystal War, the Grand Duchy of Jeuno surpassed Bastok as the most powerful nation. Sitting largely on the fringes of international politics with a unique culture is the Federation of Windurst. San d'Oria, Bastok, Jeuno and Windurst appear to represent France, Great Britain, the United States and Feudal Japan, respectively. To the Near East, the powerful Empire of Aht Urhgan represents the real-world Middle East.
      • There's also the Far East Empire, home to Ninja and samurai; the Far West, where the buffalo roam and people wear Native American-inspired attire, and a southern continent famous for spicy food.
    • The Ivalice as depicted in Final Fantasy XII seems to be based on the Mediterranean world and South Asia, so there are many examples:
      • Dalmasca is generically a modern Middle East, being a desert kingdom that used to be the centerpiece of a great empire but currently in the midst of a tug-of-war between two great powers. There is a huge river in the middle of a desert that can be compared to the Tigris, Euphrates, or the Nile. South of the capital Rabanastre, there is a location called "Giza Plains". This gets especially obvious if you hear the BGM for Lowtown, which sounds vaguely Arab-ish. As a side note, "Dalmasca" also rhymes with Damascus, the capital of Syria.
      • The Yensa Sandseas, which neighbor Dalmasca, are based on Soviet-occupied Afghanistan and Gulf War-era Iraq, with keffiyeh-wearing Fish People running around executing sneak attacks on travelers, and giant rusting oil field tanks lying around, rendered useless due to terrorist activity and the invading country not wanting to waste any more time and money protecting them. There is even a quest involving an Urutan Yensa being executed because he dared to ask for help from outsiders, which is pretty much the entire reason why the war in Afghanistan is ongoing.
      • Archadia is a mesh of Imperial Britain and Imperial Japan, being a nascent superpower known for their airship superiority, innovation, and rapid conquests towards both their neighbors and faraway lands. The judges' armor are also based on samurai clothing.
      • The English dub introduces some parallels that didn't exist in the original Japanese. The population of Dalmasca speak American English and are fighting for independence from Archadia, whose population speak British English. Bhujerba, which allows the Archadians to mine their territory in exchange for peace, is now populated by people speaking Indian English, which neatly makes them a parallel to The Raj. The English translation for the "Judges" also make somewhat the counterpart of the Biblical Judges, since both are known less for judging and more for kicking ass.
    • At the beginning of Final Fantasy Tactics, Ivalice has just finished the Fifty Years' War against neighboring Ordalia (begun, like the Hundred Years' War, over a succession dispute when the king of Ivalice claimed the throne of Ordalia). It's then thrown into the War of the Lions, another succession dispute that bears some resemblance to the Wars of the Roses.
    • Final Fantasy XIV has the far eastern continent of Othard, which is effectively the setting's equivalent of Asia, and the origin point of the Ninja and Samurai classes. Its regions include the island nation of Hingashi, the mountainous lands of Yangxia, and the rolling plains of the Azim Steppe, which draw the most heavily from feudal Japan, China, and Mongolia respectively in terms of their appearance and culture.
  • The Ace Combat series loves these.
    • At the most blatantly obvious, the Osean Federation is the United States with a dash of Japan in terms of ethnicity and military elements, with the branches of their armed forces explicitly called Defense Forces.
    • Emmeria is, despite it's name being very close to the US (adding a C makes it very obvious) Canada with some United Kingdom bits, most noticeable in the flag (with a star instead of a leaf and painted blue) architecture, military equipment and lore, specifically the legend of the Golden King, which shows similarities to the story of King Arthur. Culturally however, they're closer in spirit to Italy in terms of place names and surnames for a number of characters.
    • Yuktobania is the Soviet Union, being a federation of sorts and, following the fall from grace of Belka, the other big superpower alongside Osea.
    • Estovakia is Yugoslavia fused with Romania, fitting well into the Yugoslav theme as many aces, both major and minor have names derived from the former Yugoslavia and Romania, coupled with a Civil War that appears to share some parallels (albeit loosely) to The Yugoslav Wars.
    • Belka is, despite having a flag very close to the Tsarist Russia one (it's the exact same save for a thin yellow stripe), Germany over three different time periods; they're technically a Principality (evoking the time of the Kaisers), with the Fatherland and Workers Party/Liberal Democratic Party in AC0 Belka, and later Grey Men in AC5, as respectively a lite Nazi Germany and West Germany with secret Nazi sympathizers, with the "Grey Men" being similar to the Nazi Party's own Werwolf program. The latter case is especially apparent in the fact that Belka even has its own version of the East/West Germany split, with South Belka being ceded as North Osea after the Belkan War. On a grimmer note, the bombing of Hoffnung (a surgical strike aimed at the local industries that turned into a total carpetbombing of the city) evokes the bombing of Dresden. Their skill at engineering and science, permanent meddling in world affairs, omnipresent scheming and nationalism also makes them a bit too close for comfort of modern China and Russia.
    • Ustio is a country who broke away from Belka, like some did with Germany and the Austro-Hungarian empire at the end of WW1, making them a kitbashed version of Poland with a mountainous flavour. Their flag also evokes the Czech Republic.
    • Sapin is Spain and Delarus is Belarus, if that wasn't entirely clear.
    • Wellow is geographically a carbon copy of Greenland.
    • Nordennavic, with it's heavy industry, strict neutral diplomatic policy and cold climate, is a dead ringer for Finland, Sweden and Norway.
    • North Point is geographically protected from invaders, has a strong military for it's size, is extremely neutral and frequently hosts peace talks, making them Switzerland on an island instead of a mountain range.
    • Aurelia and Leasath appear to represent the entirety of South America (with Aurelia as Argentina/Chile and Leasath as Brazil) with some Cajun influence as hinted by some of the Deep South accents some characters posses.
    • The ISAF in AC4 is ambiguously the European Union and the Balkans.
    • Erusea is France; like Belka, its incarnations in the different games is based on previous history, as Erusea in AC4 is closer in spirits to Napoleonic and Vichy France (being a military junta with a parliament, leading military conquests out of economic necessity) while Erusea in AC7 appears to be based on both incarnations of the post-Napoleonic Kingdom of France (in that it was implied that ISAF reinstated the Erusean monarchy) and the July Monarchy (in that the current heir of Erusea was not a direct descendant of the previous king but was of blood relation). Erusea is also made up of various former independant countries that were assimilated at gunpoint, like Napoleonic France (who turned conquered nations into puppet states) and historical France (who assimilated other nations via marriage between rulers, diplomacy and political games); fittingly, while the majority of Erusean characters have French names, others are all over the place with English, Spanish, Portugese and Vietnamese, to name a few.
    • The IUN evoke both the United Nations with their peacekeeping role and NATO with their use by Osea as a proxy military force.
    • Strangereal's lack of nuclear proliferation (only Belka and Erusea have built nuclear weapons, with a few dozen tactical bombs and two MIRVs for the former and only neutron tactical warheads for the latter) and omnipresent other superweapons gives us a subversion; characters in The Belkan War and especially The Unsung War are always both horrified and extremely critical of the use or even simple ownership of nukes, falling straight into Nuclear Weapons Taboo; an attitude downright bizarre to players, who lived in a world (or even country for players who live in nuclear-armed states) with hundreds of nukes. On the contrary, things like the SOLG (a balistic missile launcher inside a space station), the Dragonet/Scinfaxi/Alicorn-class ships (aircraft carrier submarines with balistic missile launch capacities), Excalibur (a laser cannon able to shoot targets hundreds of kilometers away), the Aiagon/Hraesvelgr/Arsenal Bird/Sphyrna (a functionnal and fully armed Airborne Aircraft Carrier, the third one including laser weaponry and fully piloted by AI) or Zone Of Endless/Hugin and Munin (a borderline self-aware Artificial Intelligence for combat drones who can update itself in battle and, later, remote control automated factories) are treated as severe but normal problems in Strangereal, while this would leave every military in the real world in seizures wondering how anyone thought that was a smart idea to leave a country build such a thing. The weapons are justified in-universe as most of them being designed to protect the planet against asteroids rather than invading armies (Stonehenge, Megalith, Chandelier, and, retroactively, Fortress Intolerance), but apparently everyone missed the unfortunate loophole that guns which could take out city-sized asteroids could easily be turned against anyone the weapons' owners didn't particularly like. Assault Horizon plays it straight with Trinity, a fairly tame superweapon by Ace Combat standards (a bomb with the blast radius and destructive power of a small nuke but without radioactive fallout, with only 4 of them built) but the main concern of the whole game.
  • The building and unit designs for all four nations in the series Advance Wars are based on World War II-era combatants: Orange Star is the USA, Blue Moon is Soviet Russia with a dash of Canada, Green Earth is Germany with a splash of mainland Europe, and Yellow Comet is Japan. Interestingly, none of the four nations are villainous. The bad guys, Black Hole, have no earth parallels and are designed to appear off-world or alien. In the separate story of Days of Ruin, Rubinelle is the USA (with Brenner's Wolves and the New Rubinelle Army being separate tastes of Eagleland) and Lazuria is Russia. Similarly, you have the Western Frontier (American), Tundran Territories (Russian), Xylvania (Germany/Romania), Solar Empire (Japan), and Anglo Isles (England) in Battalion Wars.
  • The Age of Decadence: Has Rome, albeit a (previously) more Low Fantasy version of it. Specifically, Rome After the End, where city states fight over what few scraps remain of their golden age. Other countries and cultures are called by their commonly used names ("Kemet" for Egypt, the Egyptian name for it) or not even changed. The Phrygians, for instance.
  • The Azracs of Age of Wonders are a combination of the Arabs and the ancient Egyptians. In the sequel each of their successors is more clearly based on one of the two, the Tigrans being Egyptian and the Nomads being Arabian. And the Humans are late medieval Europe, as always.
  • Arc the Lad, which had among others Romalia (Germany), Millmana (somewhat like Columbia), Seirya (Japan) and Aldia (United States). Aldia in particular had its main city, Prodias, as a direct parody of New York right down to a Statue of Liberty equivalent and the World Trade Center towers. This same city is subject to an aerial terrorist attack by a crew that includes an Arabic looking man with a robe and a long beard — in a game made before 9/11.
  • Arknights:
    • Ursus Empire is based off Russia. Its national symbol is a two-headed eagle, much like the Russian coat of arms. All of recruitable native from Ursus have bear motifs, and their name are spelled in Cyrillic instead of Latin in the Chinese version.
    • Lungmen appears to be a Chinese analogue, but it's more accurately a parallel to Hong Kong, with additional influences from Shanghai, Tokyo, and Singapore. Aside from the pervasive oriental influence in the character design, Lungmen is known to be an influential trading hub, with a thriving underworld opposed by the very strict Lungmen Guard Department. Infected populace are corralled away to slums with minimal government presence, bringing the Kowloon Walled City to mind.
    • Laterano is Vatican with a bit of Switzerland mixed in. Its native Sankta population are people with angelic features, and are stereotyped by other nations to be pious but close-minded. Guns are so symbolic of Laterano that every citizen is entitled at least one firearm for self-defense. The Laterano Guard, famous for their halberds, mirrors the real-life Pontifical Swiss Guard.
    • Kjerag is a mix of Switzerland and Tibet. The local geography is extremely mountainous, protecting them from invasions and Catastrophes, but molds the culture to become conservative and insular. Kjerag's national religion is much more pagan-flavored than Laterano's, led by a Saintess who prays for the favor of the gods.
    • Practically every country in Arknights is in some way or another based on a country or a cultural region, with the only known exception being Aegir, the underwater Lovecraft Country.
  • The world of Battle Brothers is strongly Germanic in flavour. Your hired swords have actual Germanic names like Bernhard, Oswald and Ulrich, along with towns and villages with correct German names. Germanic naming conventions also extend to monsters: you have Wiedergänger (revenant zombies), Nachzehrer (ghouls), Webknecht (giant spiders) and the Lindwurm (serpentine dragon). The shieldwall is a cornerstone of warfare, rows of fighting men holding axes and spears and round wooden shields with iron bosses in the early Germanic/Norse style, and armour is Germanic in style as well. Also, the Undying Empire that ruled the entire world many centuries ago is Roman and Egyptian culturally, and you can tell from the ancient armour and angular shields that their legionnaires, not living and yet not dead either, take into battle to reclaim what was once theirs.
  • The Romance Game Be My Princess revolves around the royalty of six kingdoms which are obviously based on real-world France, England, Japan, Germany, America, and Italy (albeit all with traditional monarchies, even the America analogue). There's also a looser counterpart to the Vatican, and the "Season 2" sequel adds analogues for Russia and Turkey.
  • BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm presents a unique take on this trope. It’s set in the Internet, so instead of real-world cultures, we’re given fantasy counterparts of popular websites and online communities. The stereotypical traits of each site and its users are often parodied or examined in-depth. For instance, 4chan users like to play tricks, and are subject to Fantastic Racism; Wikipedia is a city of scholars, and seen as neutral territory by everyone else; and Tumblr is a leaderless commune struggling with the rise of a social justice cult. The Summit sequence in Chapter 3, where all the sites’ leaders come together in search of common ground, is one of the game’s Signature Scenes.
  • Diablo does this pretty unabashedly. For example, the Monk's design is a strange mishmash of Russia and China, with some trace elements of India for flavor.
    • Lut Gholein is a city of clear Arab inspiration, on the edge of a desert and an important commercial port. The desert that surrounds it is full of ancient ruins and clearly Egyptian tombs, with monsters such as revived mummies, giant beetles and humanoid cats, as well as some elements more typical of Mesopotamia.
  • Dragon Age, also from Bioware, borders on being a roman a clef of European history. We have:
    • The nation of Ferelden. It is a feudal nation ruled by a semi-hereditary king who owes his power to the support of barons, and its majority human population is descended from large groups of warring tribes, some of whom still remain during the game's beginning — Celtic to Saxon England, basically. It is also the place where Andraste had her ministry.
    • Orlais is essentially France during the Ancien Regime, with a failed version of the Norman Conquest (Orlesian-occupied Ferelden) in its recent history, and Antiva is styled after late medieval Italian city-states like Venice with a dash of Spain thrown in. Dragon Age 2's setting of Kirkwall is mostly based on medieval Cologne, a free city-state known for its frequent Jurisdiction Friction between the municipal government and the church. Such friction is basically the plot to the game, albeit with the inclusion of corrupting magic and a brewing tension between mages and churchmen.
    • The Chantry itself is heavily based on the medieval Catholic Church, with the main difference being the fact that its priests are always women. The Chantry, like the medieval Church, is tasked with keeping a weather eye out for heresy — although in Dragon Age, heresy means the possibility that you'll be possessed by a demon or become a zombie-esque servant to a dark ex-god who is now a dragon. There's even a divide within the Andrastean religion between the Imperial Chantry and the regular Chantry, which resembles the split between the Catholic and Orthodox churches. Furthermore, the fact that the regular Chantry is based in Orlais' capital Val Royeaux resembles the Avignon Papacy.
      • Andraste's life story resembles a mix of Boudica (female barbarian war leader who resisted the resident Rome analogue) and Joan of Arc (her supposed divine appointment and subsequent betrayal and death by being burned alive), is named for an Iceni goddess that Boudica herself would have worshiped, has a cultural role similar to that of Jesus in Catholicism, and theologically, as a human prophet rather than a fully-divine being, has a fair bit in common with Mohammed. Within Ferelden, Andraste is held in generally the same reverence as England held King Arthur, with several parallels between the two stories, such as the Sacred Ashes of Andraste being similar to the story of the Holy Grail.
    • Likewise, as mentioned below, the Tevinter Imperium has its own Chantry system with a "Black Divine," who is always male, as leader, as opposed to the general Chantry's Divine, who is always female. So, elements of the Avignon Papacy as well as the schism that led to the Greek Orthodox Church.
    • Speaking of Tevinter, the Imperium has a mix of post Pax-Romana Roman Empire and late Eastern Roman Empire Empire feeling to it. The Eastern Roman part especially stands out with ideas such as being overly decadent, a poor image of what it used to be, and frequently clashing with a nation of a different religion and culture (The Qunari being the stand-ins for the Islamic world). If you take it further you can even see how the Exalted Marches of Dragon Age against the Qunari mimic the earlier Crusades against the Islamic Empire. There's also the Second Exalted March, which was against the Dalish elves due to religious differences. This resembles the Northern Crusades of Christians against pagans in Eastern Europe.
    • According to Word of God, Nevarra is based off of the Iberian kingdoms. However, from what we've seen in-series, Nevarra seems more based on Prussia, as both are led by extremely militaristic royal families, and Cassandra seems to be sporting a vaguely German accent. The wars with Orlais are also similar to Germany's repeated conflicts over France for land. The existence of a culturally important and politically active order of mages responsible for administrating funeral rites also gives the country something of an Ancient Egyptian flare.
    • Much of Dwarven culture is clearly drawn from Jewish culture: there used to be twelve great Dwarven cities, but now only Orzammar remains. Orzammar itself lives in a constant state of siege by implacable foes. Many Dwarves live outside of Orzammar, however, on the surface, where they have a reputation as skilled merchants and businessmen. The more traditional Dwarves in Orzammar, however, place a very high value on scholarship, with the Shapers being vital to Dwarven society. Most tellingly, perhaps, the Dwarves relied on Golems to defend them from their enemies, but the golems eventually Turned Against Their Masters. The key exceptions, obviously, are that, first, the Dwarves do not appear to be monotheistic, instead practicing a form of ancestor worship, and that, second, the Dwarves have a rigid caste system that has no parallel in Jewish history.
    • Word of God is that the Dwarves are based off of the Aztecs and Mayans. This is most evident in their caste system (and explains why they have American accents.)
    • The Dalish Elves have several superficial resemblances to the Roma: marginalized nomads with wagons and a particular reverence for their draft animals. There's a little ancient Jewish influence as well by way of their ancestral homelands no longer existing, and their accents are heavily reminiscent of Irish and Gaelic, which follows along the pattern of people marginalized by a larger nation that looks down on them, in this case, Humans being the stand-in for Great Britain.
      • Elves as a whole also bear a more obvious resemblance to Native Americans, as they share the same narrative of being the original inhabitants of their land who were colonized and subjugated by imperialistic invaders and forcibly corralled into crowded and impoverished "alienages" (reservations), their population small and much of their original history now since lost. Much like the many different Native American societies before American colonization, the original Elvhen were an advanced civilization with a polytheistic religion of various gods mostly tied to different forces of nature. Although some revelations late in the third game do dilute the parallels a little bit (the elves, although a severely oppressed class in modern Thedas, met their most crippling downfall through the actions of one of their own, a radical who sought to liberate elven society after exceptionally powerful elves — later remembered by the Dalish as the elven gods — started taking slaves and spreading corruption during the aftermath of a civil war), much of the colonialist oppression they endured at the hands of various human nations is still similar.
    • The Qunari are sort of a mix of medieval Muslims (due to their position as a major religious rival to the other dominant religion in Thedas) and the Moors that ruled Spain and Northern Africa (due to their firm but rather lenient occupation of Spanish-based Rivain), with a religion completely unlike any other in Thedas that resembles Taoism/Confucianism.
  • Dragon Quest III did it to excess, lampshading it with the town names: A colosseum in Romaly, Zipangu just before Francisco Xavier showed up (with added Human Sacrifice), Edinbear as Britain, Portoga as Portugal, Dharma as Tibet, Greenlad as Greenland, Isis as Egypt with pyramids, Baharata as India, Ashalam with merchants calling you "my friend", overcharging, and giving you the option of haggling, and Soo with Hulk Speak: This my horse. It good horse. Most of all, the game's world map resembles (albeit very roughly) the real world, with all these places including corresponding to their real world equivalents. You even end up establishing your colony, "New Town," in what would be the mid-eastern United States, and it eventually goes through a revolution!
  • EarthBound: Eagleland is 1980's America, with Fourside being a New York-like place. Foggyland (the area where Winters is) is Britain. The city of Summers appears to be a generic Southern-European resort, possibly Spain; Dalaam is Asia; Scaraba is obviously Egypt; and Deep Darkness appears to be Africa.
  • Actually acknowledged in Eien no Aselia. The northern countries like Rakios are described as being European and Malorigan is compared to the Middle East, though we don't see much of it. There's also that pesky Empire to the southeast.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • The vast majority of the Tamriellic races and cultures seen to date in the series blend at least two real-world cultures, and are thus listed under Culture Chop Suey. Additionally, please see the series' "Races" sub-pages.
    • Though none have appeared in the flesh to date in the series, the races of Akavir mostly correspond to a real world Asian culture. The Tsaesci draw heavily from Japan, the Ka Po' Tun draw heavily from China, the Kamal draw heavily from Mongolia, and the Tang Mo draw heavily from India.
    • Elder Scrolls Online's three factions are based on some areas of Europe along with groups they associate with. The Ebonheart Pact is based on the Northern portion with some touch of First Nation and Inuit (since the Norse founded Greenland before anyone else and Greenland is technically part of the North American Continent). The Daggerfall Covenant is based on areas of Spain, Portugal, and France since they have history with the Moors (What the Redguards is partially based on) and had some history with persecution with the Jewish population (an arguable similarity to the Orcs). The Aldmeri Dominion is based on what is now the United Kingdom due to a mixed relationship with England and Ireland (similar to the Altmer and Bosmer) and having some trading relationship with East Asia (Moon Sugar is similar to poppy seeds).
  • Fallout: Many Post-War societies are intentionally based on Pre-War records of various civilizations when trying to forge a new nation out of the Wasteland.
    • Fallout 2 created both the New California Republic and the Shi Empire, which are based on the Pre-War United States and Imperial China respectively. Fallout: New Vegas elaborates on the NCR, making it so that they're based on both the United States during the Wild West and the Roman Republic, since that game's main antagonists, Caesar's Legion, are stylized after the Roman Empire. However, they actually bear more similarities to Sparta in practice.
    • The Enclave is pretty much Nazi Germany under a thin veneer of Pre-War America.
    • The Great Khans intentionally evoke the idea of being based after the Mongolian Empire — although it's slightly lessened because horses have gone extinct.
    • The East Coast Brotherhood of Steel under Elder Lyons is inspired by early Prussia. By Fallout 4, the East Coast Brotherhood is now basically an Ordensstaat a la the State of the Teutonic Order, providing security courtesy of its exclusive pseudo-knightly military order in exchange for food and raw resources from its network of client settlements... as well as the occasional new recruit.
      • The Commonwealth Minutemen are patterned after both Revolutionary-Era America and the Iroquois Confederacy (the former more so than the latter).
      • The Railroad are also clearly based after both the Underground Railroad of American history and the CIA during the Cold War.
      • While Vault 81 is based on quintessential small-town America, their political situation (being isolated from the outside world, are only recently opening themselves up to the Commonwealth, and are popular traders with most of the region) is actually evocative of Japan after being opened up by Commodore Perry to the West.
      • Finally, the Institute's focus on science and the arts while also being secluded from the rest of the Wasteland is inspired by Renaissance-Era Italy. They also bear a surprisingly high number of similarities to the Soviet Union.
  • The exact counterparts of the EVE Online nations is the subject of much debate:
    • The Amarr are closely modeled on the medieval Catholic Church... combined with the slavery of the pre-Civil War American South.
    • The Caldari are a heavily-corporate culture with a few Japanese and Russian influences.
    • The Gallente are a hybrid of the United States and the French.
    • The Minmatar draw on Norse Mythology for some of their ship names. They also have elements of Africans or Native Americans, being a very tribal culture.
  • Fable and its sequels:
    • The games take place in the country of Albion, which is populated entirely by identically-voiced citizens from various parts of the British Isles. The map of Albion itself bears more than a passing resemblance to Wales. Moreover, Albion is the oldest known name for the island of Great Britain.
    • There's also the foreign nation of Samarkand, which is an amalgamated counterpart for pretty much everywhere else, being best known for the invention of katanas and gunpowder and having dark skinned people who don't wear a lot.
    • Aurora is a desert city state that resembles South America, with traits of ancient Arabia.
  • The Final Fantasy Legend has the World of Ruins, whose locations have characteristics based on those of their Real Life counterparts in Tokyo. The town in the southwest that is never mentioned by name is implied to be Shibuya. The skyscraper district is Shinjuku (this is mentioned by name in the original Japanese version; not in the English version). Ameyoko is much like it is in real life; a shopping street, and it's close to Akiba, the electronics district, where you find the ROM you need.
  • Fire Emblem Fates:
    • Of the two major factions, Hoshido is a pretty standard feudal Japan stand-in (complete with Prince Ryoma strongly resembling Takeda Shingen) while Nohr is somewhere between ancient Rome, medieval Europe, and Celtic cultures, with most place names, as well as the names of its royal family members, being German.
    • The case of Valla aka the third major faction is more complex, as it mixes many different cultures: it borrows several designs and motif from Norse culture (Valla etymology and geography), Classical Mythology (Vallite characters and water elements), and Indian culture (Anankos' mask, symbol of water lilies, vajra motif of Yato, and Azura's dress patterns evocative of mandala), plus the original Japanese adds some Chinese names (Valla is known as Touma, the original name of its former Queen Arete aka Azura's mother is Shenmei).
  • Freedom Planet: Planet Avalice is meant to resemble China and Japan, with traces of the Philippines being introduced as of the sequel.
  • Freelancer contains four different "Houses": Liberty (United States), Bretonia (Britain), Kusari (Japan) and Rheinland (Germany). And on top of that, their places are named after actual places (such as "Planet Los Angeles"). However, this styling is intentional as the four houses are themed as the descendents of colonists from the four countries.
    • There was also a fifth ship, the Hispania, that was broke down. They became pirates working for various factions. Most notable among these are the Outcasts, whose home planet is called Malta, and the Corsairs, whose home planet is called Crete. Make of that what you will.
    • The four Houses also seem to have revived the old cultures from which they came, some more than others. Rheinland and Kusari are the biggest examples, with landed nobility still present and having influence and uniforms looking a bit antiquated. Their governments appear to be "revivals" of post-unification Prussia and Edo period Japan, respectively, with present-day Rheinland having elements of Weimar Germany (being a republic with a chancellor that slides into dictatorship, established after a relatively bloodless revolution that removed an imperial monarchy, caused by losing a war).
  • In Gems of War, some kingdoms have parallels in the real world; for example, Stormheim is Norse-themed. That said, it isn't a world of nothing but counterparts; more often, each kingdom's distinctive theme is a straight fantasy trope (e.g. elves, dwarves, wolf-people, etc.)
  • The LucasArts tactical RPG Gladius is comprised entirely of these. Imperia is Rome, Nordagh is a stand-in for the Nordic countries, the Windward Steppes are Asia, and the Southern Expanse is Egypt.
  • The map of Golden Sun's planet, called "Weyard", appears to be a very distorted version of Earth. It's actually Pangaea mid-break-up.
    • The starting area of the first game, Angara, bares similarity to medieval Europe, has a region similar to the Scandinavian peninsula to the north, and a (comparatively small) area with Oriental influences to the east. It goes so far as to call the path from the eastern reaches to the western reaches "Silk Road".
    • The continent south of Angara, Gondowan, has Middle Eastern influences at the far north, tribal African influences further south, and is generally shaped like Africa.
    • Indra, which had originally been just southeast of Angara, appears to have Indian culture and is shaped like India.
    • West of Angara is Hesparia, which is dominated by a Native North American-style tribe.
    • Just south of that (though not connected by land bridge) is Atteka, which has Native South American influences.
    • There's also Osenia, which doesn't appear to have Australian influences, but is shaped like Australia, positioned where Australia would be compared to the other continents, and has a location called Air's Rock.
    • Various island chains also represent Japan (Izumo) and the East Indies (Apojii). There's even an Atlantis (Lemuria) in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean's counterpart (the Great Eastern Sea).
    • There's even a completely uninhabited version of Antarctica (Tundria) down at the bottom of the map.
    • Golden Sun: Dark Dawn added several previously-unexplored lands to Angara, including a massive overall expansion to the Oriental part of the continent, now collectively called Ei-Jei. The town and forest of Kolima have been moved to the northern Siberia area of Russia (Kolyma) they were based on, the beastfolk nation of Morgal appears to be Mongolia (complete with an Expy of Ghengis Khan's ancestor Borte Chino as king) with Russian architecture, and south we have a Siam-equivalent in Ayuthay (though the architecture is blatantly based on Cambodian Angkor Wat), the Indus River Valley town of Harappa (minus one "p"), and Passaj which is probably Tibet. The Japan-equivalent people have been forced by tumultuous world changes to move from Izumo to the island chain of Nihan, one letter off from the Japanese name for Japan (Nihon), and its capital city is Yamatai... as in Yamataikoku, home of the legendary priest-queen Himiko, our friendly playable Shrine Maiden.
  • The Special Stage courses in the Gran Turismo series are based on real routes of the Shuto Expressway in Tokyo, and Route 7 includes a replica of the Rainbow Bridge, which can also be seen in the background on Route 11.
  • Grandia has your party traveling East across an ocean to The New World which is clearly a distorted Europe.
  • The MMORPG Granado Espada is entirely based around fantasy counterparts of Old World cultures and their role in the New World. Espanola is Spain, Bristia is Britain, Abyssinia is Abyassinia.
  • Guild Wars has a bunch of these as well
    • In prophecies, Ascalon is a mix of various medieval European areas, while the Charr seem somewhat based on Mayincatec architecture
    • In factions, Kaineng city and Shing Jea island architecture and names seem based on various East Asian areas. Kurzick lands use gothic architecture with Germanic and slavic sounding names, Luxon lands use ancient Greek sounding names.
    • In Nightfall, Istan and Kourna appear to be a mix of Ancient Egyptian architecture and Sub Saharan African environments, while Vabbi represents "Arabian Nights" Days.
    • Eye of the North introduces the Asura, with Mayincatec architecture and clothing, and the Viking-inspired Norn.
  • Heroes of Might and Magic: Castle/Haven is obviously based on Medieval Europe, Stronghold is vaguely "barbarian" with some shades of Native Americans thrown in, but apart that most factions are based around fantasy concepts rather than real world cultures (Tower is the Mage Tower, Inferno is Hell, and so on.) At least, until Heroes 6 came along with Sanctuary, which is blatantly Japanese. Not only are several of the units from Japanese folklore (Yuki-onna, Kirin), their culture is similar, too. Their symbol is a lotus, the heroes' racial ability is named "Honor", and their penultimate unit is a serpent samurai!
  • Iron Harvest takes place in an Alternate History version of 1920s Europe with the three opposing factions being Polania (Poland), Empire of Saxony (Germany) and the Rusviet Union (Russia).
  • The Jade Empire is a dead ringer for Ancient China, complete with dense jungles to the south (Indochina), impassable mountains to the west (the Himalayas), northern steppes populated by "the Horselords" (Mongols), and an eastern ocean, from which come foreigners resembling 16th century European explorers. It's a little Steampunk and All Myths Are True, so it's not quite as Flanderized as most examples of this trope.
  • Just Cause 2 has Panau, which is a mix of various nations from Southern Asia, mostly Indonesia and the Philippines with a dash of Thailand, going as far as using Malay and Indonesian for the names of various places and some of the locals' lines. Likewise, Medici in Just Cause 3 is a mix of Italy and modern Malta with a dash of Spain.
  • Kingdom of Loathing has South of the Border, which is more or less Mexico during Halloween, and Little Canadia, which is Canada during the Stanley Cup finals. South of the Border is home to Mariachis, 5-year-old boys trying to sell you oddly-flavored chewing gum, and several types of merrymaking but angry undead, and Little Canadia is home to Lumberjacks, animated poutine, and possessed hockey equipment. Little Canadia also has a Mind-Control Device.
  • In The Last of Us Part II, the Washington Liberation Front (aka the WLF) is a dead ringer for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Both are paramilitary separatist organizations that overthrew federal control of Washington and Sri Lanka's Northern Province respectively. Much like how the WLF controlled much of Seattle, the LTTE ruled their controlled regions with an iron fist, leading to the persecution and deaths of dissidents and members of minority religious communities. On top of that, both groups utilized regionalist propaganda and even referred to by their animal nicknames (Wolves and Tamil Tigers respectively).
  • League of Legends:
    • The Rakkor are definitely meant to invoke the idea of the Spartans, from their reverence of war to their armor and weapons. The tribe's former name, Stanpar, was an anagram of the word 'Spartan.' Following the Continuity Reboot, the culture of Mount Targon (where the Rakkor reside) is much less defined, though the Greek/Spartan influence is still present (names such as Pallas and Atreus, the latter being the current iteration of Pantheon).
    • Ionia is a clear stand in for Japan, with a hint of other Asian cultures thrown in. There is also a subdued Greek influence (it shares a name with a region in the ancient Greek world. Both were invaded by a foreign empire that involved a leader called Darius, but managed to throw out the invaders).
    • Shurima is Egypt, with pyramids, animal-headed demigods, and sand as far as the eye can see.
    • The Freljord is a mish-mash of nordic influences, and serves as a generic 'frigid northlands'.
    • Noxus is an analogue to Rome, blending elements from both the Republic (the Trifarix being a council of three of the most powerful leaders in the vein of the triumvirates) and the Empire (being an expansionist empire that incorporates native warriors into its legions).
    • Bilgewater is a pirate town at first, but combines elements of the American Midwest and Caribbean/Vodun folklore.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • The chief organizations of Lusternia have a lot of basis in real life countries. Magnagora is much like WW2-era Germany, with their emphasis on racial purity and extreme nationalism; Hallifax, meanwhile, is a clear take-off of communist Russia, right down to their aims being laid down in "The Collectivist Manifesto". Celest represents a declining British Empire, with their emphasis on nobility coupled with their increasingly vestigial nature. You could also make a case for Gaudiguch being America: freedom-loving party animals engaged in a Forever War with the communist Hallifax.
  • MapleStory started with fairly generic towns, but there are some new worlds that are very familiar. There's Korean Folk Town, "Japan" (complete with kitsune, kappa, and yakuza bosses), Ariant (a generic Middle East/Arabian fantasy world), "China" (with pandas and Ginseng monsters), and who knows what else in the future.
  • Masqerada: Songs and Shadows takes place in a setting that resembles Renaissance Venice.
  • The Quarians in Mass Effect have many blatant Jewish parallels. They were exiled from their homeland to which they long to return, they face discrimination as exiles and minorities without a planet or state of their own, and the crowded, noisy, generally impoverished living conditions aboard the Migrant Fleet are reminiscent of the conditions in a medieval or renaissance-era Jewish ghetto. Then there are the names — the most prominent Quarian character is named Tali'Zorah, and Tali and Zorah are both Hebrew girls' names. Double names, as in Leah Miriam, Tamar Rachel, or Tali Zorah, are very common in traditional Jewish society and near-ubiquitous in quarians. The Quarian homeworld, Rannoch, the star it orbits, Tikkun, and the three other planets in the Tikkun system, Adas, Kaddi, and Haza, all have names that are also words in Hebrew note . There's also an ateroid orbiting Tikkun called Uriyah, which is also a Hebrew man's name (granted, it does sort of seem as though the writers chose Hebrew words at random at times). Similarly, the star system where the Quarian migrant fleet is found in Mass Effect 2 is called Raheel-Leyya, which are variant spellings of Rachel and Leah, two of the Biblical Matriarchs. The benediction given by Admiral Shala'Raan at Tali's trial in Mass Effect 2 ("Blessed are the Ancestors, who kept us alive, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this season"), except for invoking the Quarian's ancestors rather than a God, is an otherwise exact translation of the Jewish blessing Shecheyanu. note  The story of the Geth — artificial intelligence created by the quarians that later rebelled against them — mirrors the Jewish legend of golems.
    • Unlike Dragon Age and most other examples, Mass Effect, being set in the future and not in a fantasy world, also includes actual Jews and Judaism: at least one minor character, a doctor on Noveria in the first game, is named Cohen, and Shepard can quote the Talmud at the memorial service for Thane Krios in the third game. Some fluff does indicate that a few quarians have converted to actual, human Judaism. The similarities are never remarked on in-game, however.
    • Being itinerant workers who often are often dismissed as thieves and troublemakers, the quarians also resemble Romani people, or indeed, pretty much any migrant group. The codex for the first game notes that "The quarians are coming to take our jobs" is a common refrain whenever the Flotilla shows up to an inhabited planet.
  • In the Mega Man Battle Network/Rockman.exe series, Electopia is Japan (they didn't even bother pretending it wasn't Japan in the Japanese version, incidentally), Netopia (Amerope) is an amalgam of America and continental Europe, Creamland is Britain, etc. Some of the counterparts' names get a little unimaginative, like Sharo, which is basically Russia with the syllables reversed, or Choina (Asina) and Netfrica (Affric).
  • The hard fantasy medieval world of Calradia from Mount & Blade has these:
    • The Kingdom of Swadia is Western European, sort of a hybrid between France and the German states, or like a longer lasting version of the Frankish Empire. The classic Knight in Shining Armor faction, with excellent heavy cavalry.
    • The Kingdom of the Vaegirs is Eastern European in flavour, mostly Slavic (and particularly Russian) in tone (with some Polish, Balkan and Hungarian elements thrown in). A mix of infantry and heavy cavalry, with big axes and polearms being the most common weapon and few soldiers carrying shields.
    • The Rhodok Republic is Southern European or Alpine-like, based predominantly on the Italian city states or the various Swiss cantons. This is even evidenced in the structure of their military: very little cavalry, but lots of infantrymen armed with various spears, polearms and high quality crossbows. Politically, it is vaguely like the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
    • The Kingdom of the Nords is Scandinavian in tone, but refreshingly not of the stereotypical Viking raider sort (Viking-esque raiders are a separate mini faction of bandits in the game). The portrayal of Nords is more akin to Danish Vikings, the Normans or even the Anglo-Saxons. Their armies are very infantry-heavy and they have the sturdiest infantry in the game.
    • The Khergit Khanate is the obligatory nomadic, steppe-dwelling, Mongol-like culture, with an almost purely cavalry army. Some Turkish cultural elements are thrown in as well.
    • The Sarranid Sultanate, added in the Warband sequel, is the Middle Eastern faction, with various exotic light infantry and cavalry. As for the specific country they're based on — it seems to be predominantly Egypt during the reign of the Mamelukes, with some vaguely Ottoman bits inserted here and there. Its name is a reference to the pre-Islamic Sassanid Persian Empire.
    • The Sword of Damocles mod for Mount & Blade takes place on a whole new continent and has all of the above factions, but also adds some new ones. The Kingdom of Aden is a stand-in for medieval Hungary, the Imperial Legion is the Roman Empire, the Republic of Marina is like if the Ancient Greek city states united and kept their culture into the late renaissance, the Villianese Duchy is mix of medieval Scotland and Wales with a shamanistic pagan religion, the Antarian Empire is a mix of the late Western Roman Empire and the Holy Roman Empire, and the Zerrikanian Sultanate is basically the Ottoman Empire if they worshipped Chaos. The mod also introduces several mercenary factions based on historical cultures: the Black Army is based on the Black Army of Hungary, the Boar Clan are the warriors of iron-age Gaul, the Elephant Guard are African tribesmen with a hint of Ancient Egypt, and the Jotnar Clan are your standard Horny Vikings.
    • Likewise the mod Prophesy of Pendor is set on a Low Fantasy continent with all new factions. The Fierdsvain are the Norse (right down to fielding berserkers in furs), Sarleon is a hybrid of medieval England and France, the D'Shar are Persian-esque tribal nomads, Ravenstern is a hybrid of Scotland and Ireland and the Baccus Empire is like ancient Rome, with the caveat that they were once the dominant force on Pendor but thrown into decline and so while the Baccus on Pendor have the classic Greco-Roman aesthetic, far-off Melitine is more like the Byzantine Empire. Outside of the main factions you have the Jatu, a hybrid of the Mongols and the Cuman peoples; Mettenheim, the Holy Roman Empire meets Switzerland; and the Noldor, Tolkien-esque elves with all the accompanying baggage. Pendor, the player's formable kingdom if they choose the Pendor culture, is like the Holy Roman Empire.
  • Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord follows the trend above, being a prequel to the original game:
    • The Empire is three different factions, but all share the same troop tree and culture, inspired by the Roman Empire in both late antiquity and medieval history (sometimes referred to as the Byzantine Empire). Their currently divided state is basically an expy of the Crisis of the Third Century.
    • The Aserai Sultanate are the Arabian Peninsula and North African civilizations before the Islamic conquests.
    • The Battanians are Western Europe Celts who opposed the Romans, specifically those of the British Isles (the Irish, Welsh, and Picts), with some influence from the pre-Roman peoples of Thrace as well. There is also influence from the Celts of the later Medieval Era, such as their skilled archers (which the Welsh were known for), and them wearing tartans.
    • The Vlandians are he Normans and other Viking states that established themselves throughout Western Europe, pre-William the Conqueror's invasion of the British Isles.
    • The Khuzait Khanate are Huns and other steppe raiders of Late Antiquity, as well as their later equivalents, the Cossacks and Tatars. Also some similarities with the Turks, as they were once nomadic people who conquered parts of the Empire and settled there.
    • Sturgia are the early nations of Kievan Rus and modern-day Russia with a dash of post-Viking era Scandinavia.
  • An Octave Higher provides two examples:
    • The kingdom of Overture is based on 19th-Century Europe as a whole, being a colonial empire with colonies all over the world that has just gone through a major industrial revolution.
    • Dvipantara, one of Overture's colonies, is a stand-in for Indonesia; the place itself is never seen, but its inhabitants have Indonesian names, enjoy traditional Indonesian foods, and the scientific name for Mana in this universe, curcuma zanthorrhiza (temulawak in Dvipantaran), comes from a type of ginger grown in Java and Indonesia.
  • In Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath, the Clakkerz are Wild West settlers/rednecks and the Grubbs are the oppressed Native Americans.
  • Ōkami doesn't hide the fact that it's based on Japanese Mythology, but the Oina tribe native to northern Nippon are clearly based on the indigenous Ainu of Hokkaido. Their territory is even called "Kamui", the Ainu word for "spirit".
  • The Glorious Empire of Overlord II is the Roman Empire with Anti-Magic.
  • In Pillars of Eternity, the game is set in the Dyrwood, a wild frontier kingdom that recently threw off their colonial yoke to the Aedyr Empire in the so-called War of Defiance. Most of the people in Dyrwood still hate their former Aedyran masters and player characters hailing from there will face hostility from the locals. They have a hotbloodedness and pioneer spirit to them, unfortunately tied with racism and reactionary attitudes, and they war with the native Glanfathans fiercely and often. In other words, the place is a medieval facsimile of the USA. The Aedyr Empire itself is distinctly Germanic and Anglo-Saxon (with Old English naming conventions). The Glanfathan tribes who originally inhabited Dyrwood likewise have similarities to both the Celts and the Native Americans. The Vailian Republics are renaissance Italy, the Rauatai is Maori, the Ixamitl Plains is Nahuatl, the Living Land is medieval Iceland, and the White That Wends is Antarctica (yes, people live there).
  • The various regions in Pokémon are based on various bits of Japan, and, increasingly, other parts of the world.
    • The original region, Kanto, is based on... Japan's Kanto region. The seaside Vermillion City, for example, is where the major seaport city of Yokohama is. Saffron and Celadon, the two largest and busiest cities, are located roughly where the Marunouchi and Shinjuku districts of Tokyo are.
      • The Sevii Islands of FireRed and LeafGreen are based on the Izu and Bonin island chains.
    • Johto is made up of parts of the Kansai and Chubu regions. Mount Silver is Mount Fuji. Goldenrod City, the largest city in Johto, is roughly where Osaka is. The historic and old-fashioned town of Ecruteak is fittingly in the location of Kyoto, the historical capital of Japan, reflecting the fictional and real-world regions' reputation as being very traditional and rooted in its respect for culture and mythology in contrast to the modern and industrial Kanto.
    • The tropical Hoenn is based off of the similarly mountainous and volcanic Kyushu (rotated 90 degrees), with the eastern water routes being based off of Okinawa. Another thing is that Sootopolis, while located near Yakushima, is actually based off of Santorini in Greece.
    • The snowy region of Sinnoh is based off of Hokkaido, the northernmost region of Japan. Jubilife City is where the capital city of Sapporo is.
    • Unova is based loosely on the New York City metropolitan area, with the first game, the player roughly starting their journey on Long Island and ending in the Bronx while the second game starts the player off in New Jersey instead. The influence is best seen in the cities of Castelia and Nimbasa, which are Downtown and Midtown Manhattan, respectively. The region also takes elements from the American southwest (the Desert Resort), Hollywood (Pokéstar Studios) and even Europe (Village Bridge is based on Florence's Ponte Vecchio).
    • Kalos is based on northern France, with Lumiose City obviously being Paris, complete with its own version of the Eiffel Tower. This region is arguably the most blatant when it comes to lifting elements from its inspiration, with numerous NPCs spouting off Gratuitous French phrases.
    • Alola is clearly based on Hawaii, being an archipelago of tropical islands, with most of the local culture mirroring that of the real-world location. Within Alola itself, there's the Chinese inspired KoniKoni City (in reference to Lāhainā as a hub for Chinese immigrants) and the Japanese inspired Malie City (in-universe founded by immigrants from the Johto region).
    • Galar is based on the United Kingdom flipped upside down, complete with Stock British Phrases and occasional use of British English over the usual American English translation (e.g. telly vs. TV). The player starts off near the Scottish border by the Lake District, and finishes in London. A later expansion adds the Isle of Armor (based on the Isle of Man) and the Crown Tundra (based on Scotland).
    • Orre is based on the US state of Arizona. In particular, Phenac City is based on Phoenix, Agate Village is Flagstaff, and Gateon Port is Lake Havasu City.
    • Fiore, Almia and Oblivia appear to be based on various peninsulas in the Hokkaido region.
  • The Quest for Glory series has each game taking place in a different region like this, each of them representing the four cardinal directions except for the third game, which was made as an afterthought. In order they are: Speilburg (Germany, North), Shapeir (Middle East, South), Fricana (Africa, none), Mordavia (various Eastern European locales, East) and Silmaria (Ancient Grome, West).
  • While there are no direct parallels in the Ravenmark games, the nations of Eclisse (the game world) have origins in Real Life cultures. The Empire of Estellion appears to be a typical Medieval European Fantasy empire with a strong Roman influence, including the fact that many characters have Latin-sounding names (e.g. Calius Septim, Sergius Corvius). The name of the Imperial capital, Atium, literally means "view" in Latin. Similar to the Romans, the Tellions (the people of Estellion) revere a bird, but it's a raven instead of an eagle. The Kaysani have similarities to Spain, especially their religious fanaticism (although it's sun-worship here), several names (e.g. Alejo de Porres, Heliodore de Moreno), and the fact that their military campaign/crusade is called the Reconquista. One of the two Kaysani factions is actually called the Inquisitors, and they are determined to burn anyone who doesn't believe as they do. The Commonwealth of Esotre is a little difficult to narrow down, but many of their names are French-sounding (e.g. Lorraine D'Artim, Cyril F'Ourier). On the other hand, their Steampunk obsession with knowledge makes them seem more like Renaissance Italians. The Sotran dwarves, on the other hand, have typical English names (e.g. Benjamin Allsworth, Dwight Lawforde).
    • The Cardani elves are a little odd. They don't fit into the typical representation of elves, revering greed in all forms and breeding like rabbits. Strangely, their philosophy of greed has a Japanese-sounding name (fukuyoka). Additionally, some of the weapons they use in battle definitely look like katanas and naginatas. Some of their buildings appear to have pagoda-style roofs. The Tenguko commanders are a dead giveaway, wearing stereotypical samurai armor and tengu masks.
    • The second game has the people of the Faiths, desert-dwelling tribes for whom religion is very important and who are not big fans of the Empire extending its control over them.
    • The tiny unseen Western nation of Brac is mostly known for its soldiers and mercenaries, consisting of phalanxes and peltasts (although peltasts tend to be women). As a society, they value knowledge and quest for the cosmic truth. Ancient Athens springs to mind.
    • Another tiny nation that doesn't feature in the games is the Maratelli Free Cities. The Maratelli are a league of seven culturally-distinct cities, but their major commonality is that all Maratelli love the arts (and parties). This might imply their kinship to Renaissance Italy.
  • Red Earth takes place in 1999 on an alternate version of Earth which is stuck in a medieval/mythological state. Notable counterparts to countries on our Earth (which is blue, unlike what the title suggests) are Zipang (Japan), Icelarn (Iceland), and Sangypt (Egypt).
  • Rise of Legends features Fantasy Counterpart Cultures to Renaissance Italy, the Arabian Nights Middle East, and Mayan/Aztec Mesoamerica, complete with "appropriate" techs (Steampunk/Clockpunk, swords and sorcery, and sub-Sufficiently Advanced Alien tech, respectively) for its three factions. Two of the three also have very obvious Meaningful Names, with the Renaissance Italians being Vinci, and the Mesoamerican nation being Cuotl (a reference to Quetzalcoatl, who some UFOlogists and cryptohistorians claim was actually an alien).
    • Concept art from the making of the game, as well as unused icons from the map editor, point to the existence of a fourth race that was dropped in the last moment: the Kahan, based on Altaic Mythology. Before the Kahan, so it seems, the fourth race was the Skald, based on Finnish mythology and folklore. Too bad they never made it into the actual game.
  • In Sam and Max: Season 3, the Elves are a working-class, but discriminated against, race, who all have stereotypical Italian-American gangster accents and live in a ghetto called "Little North Pole", obviously similar to Little Italy. The Mole People are another hard-working and despised race, but they vary between Roma (fortune tellers with strong magic superstitions) and Jewish ("You don't look Molish." "By marriage. Rituals were involved!"), depending on Rule of Funny.
  • Funnily enough, as discussed in its Fridge subpage, the factions in Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri are based on modern nation states:
    • The Human Hive = The People's Republic of China. Communism, Confucianism and Buddhism all uphold selflessness and unity. Chairman Yang just took it to the extreme by neglecting everything else. Their population is fast growing and hard-working, but they're held back by a lack of political freedom, which stunts the flow of new ideas and hence their economy.
    • U.N Peacekeepers = Liberal USA. A large, democratic state that upholds personal freedom, celebrates cultural diversity and is home to a number of people with different religions and languages, and often seeks to encourage other nations to work together. However, they're also troubled by bureaucracy and inefficiency, and also sometimes far too enthusiastic about intervening in the internal affairs of other nations, which the other nations find a tad annoying. Alternatively, modern India, for many of the same reasons.
    • University of Planet = The New Russia, or at least how people saw it back in the 90's. Advances very quickly scientifically, but not very big on things like personal liberty and human rights. Also has elements of the Soviet Union, as like the USSR, they ridicule religion and want to weaken it as a societal force.
    • Lord's Believers = Fundamentalist USA. The mega-churches, creationist museums and Jesus camps really capture the spirit of the American Evangelical movement. Highly suspicious of new technological advances and foreign customs, with these things being heavily scrutinised by Moral Guardians. Viewed as a pariah by other nations, but extremely powerful militarily.
    • Gaia's Stepdaughters = The European Union. Follows a democratic socialist political system with plenty of women leaders, and advocates ecologically sustainable policies and technologies at the expense of their economy. They also don't really like going to wars much, due to their dark history full of war-time atrocities.
    • Morgan Industries = Corporate USA. Strong emphasis on economics and staunchly capitalist. Limited government but interested in using their economic might to gain political influence around the world. Prone to doing some pretty unethical things in the name of profit margins. The CEO Nwabudike Morgan is Namibian, but studied and played football at an Ivy League college in the US.
    • Spartan Federation = Conservative USA. Encourages and promotes discipline, loyalty and self-determination. Nearly everyone living there is armed. Highly suspicious of foreign powers and responds by pouring much of it's economy into a massive "defence" budget, and other nations see them as dangerous and violent.
    • Note that with three exceptions the faction leaders are actually from the countries they parallel. Commissioner Pravin Lal of the UN is from India, CEO Nwabudike Morgan is Namibian, and Colonel Corazon Santiago of the Spartans is from Puerto Rico.
    • Largely averted by the factions in Alien Crossfire, who are based on groups who have yet to power in real life. The Free Drones are social democrats, the Data Angels and Nautilus Pirates are anarchists (the former being a more sympathetic portrayal than the latter), the Cybernetic Consciousness are utilitarians, and the Cult of Planet are transhuman voluntary extinctionists.
  • The Sims and SimCity series' take place in Sim Nation, a fictional counterpart to the United States of America. The Sims Medieval takes place in a medieval Europe inspired country.
    • The Sims 3 takes this a step further with their World Adventures pack, adding new sub-worlds to travel in such as Shang Simla (China), Al Simhara (Egypt), and Champ Les Sims (France).
  • In Skies of Arcadia, you have Valua as Spain, Nasr as the Middle East, Ixa'Taka as Mesoamerica, and Yafutoma as Japan with some (more) Chinese influences. Additionally, the various independent islands in Mid Ocean seem to support a culture similar to England, or at least English colonies.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Several games take place in a nation called "United Federation", which is America in all but name, complete with their president living in a White House-like building.
    • Sonic Unleashed doesn't even try to hide it. With the exception of Eggmanland, all of the levels are based off of various real-world locales:
      • Apotos = Mykonos, Greece
      • Mazuri = Mali (in Africa)
      • Spagonia = Western Europe (mainly Italy)
      • Holoska = The Arctic
      • Chun-Nan = China
      • Shamar = The Middle East (mainly the United Arab Emirates)
      • Empire City = New York City (mostly taken from Brooklyn and Manhattan)
      • Adabat = Southeast Asia (mainly Thailand and the Philippines)
      • And even Eggmanland could be considered as the bizarro world version of Disneyland/Disney World.
  • Octarian society in Splatoon is this of a Banana Republic or People's Republic of Tyranny, emphasized especially in the Octo Expansion lore. While Octo Expansion still leaves specifics rather vague, it builds on some of the previous lore in a way that suggests that as a result of their exile into the underground, Octarian society has taken, shall we say, a hard right turn. Military education appears to be common, there's a fairly strong implication that military leaders are in charge overall, and propaganda that exaggerates the worst aspects of Inkling society seems commonplace and dedicated to ensuring a single-minded animosity toward Inkling-kind among Octarian citizens. This is why the Calamari Inkantation "concert" was such a big deal — for a great many Octolings, it blew open the doors to the truth and made them realize there was a lot more to Inklings than what their leaders had told them. Marina, Agent 8, and other player Octolings are the ones who elected to take the bold step of trying to leave their old lives behind to see the real truth.
  • Spirits Of Anglerwood Forest: Anglerwood Forest is based on early 20th century America.
  • In Starbound, The Hylotl are based off of Japan, the Avians are May Inca Tec, the Glitch are Medieval/Renaissance Europe, and the Apex society under the Miniknog resembles the Soviet Union.
  • In Stellaris:
    • Marauders are inspired by the Mongols, right down to having a possible Great Khan (their actual title) arise to pull a Genghis Gambit and unite them against any empire that doesn't immediately knuckle under.
    • An empire with the "Inward Perfection" civic gets the Celestial Empire special government type: an isolationist kingdom where the ruler is a child from heaven and the people have little time for strange outsiders who do not understand their serene and peaceful way of life.
    • As of Patch 2.0, it is possible to play a militarist, spiritualist authoritarian empire with an oligarchy government, the "Nationalistic Zeal" and "Slaver Guilds" civics and a Roman-themed name list. Bona-fide Space Romans.
  • Stonehearth has each of three playable human kingdoms representing a different culture:
    • The Ascendancy is Western Europe, mostly England.
    • Rayya's Children is North Africa and the Middle East, with elements of East Asian cultures in the philosophy and appearance of settlers.
    • The yet-unimplemented Northmen's Alliance is Vikings and other Scandinavian groups.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario Bros. 3: has one at the end of World 3 in which the world's castle is on a landmass that looks like Japan with the castle being located roughly where Kyoto isnote . The king of World 2 also resembles a Sultan when turned back into his former self.
    • Super Mario Land:
      • Birabuto Kingdom: Ancient Egypt
      • Muda Kingdom: Vaguely Polynesian
      • Easton Kingdom: Easter Island
      • Chai Kingdom: Ancient China
    • Super Mario Odyssey deals about Mario travelling all over the world in his quest to rescue Peach, and he visits several kingdoms along the way, all of which being based on real-world locations. Quick tour:
      • Bonneton, in the Cap Kingdom, is based on London, with black-and-white buildings shaped like top hats surrounded by opaque smog.
      • Tostarena, in the Sand Kingdom, is based on Mexico, a fact confirmed by the designer Kenta Motokura. It has a heavy Dìa de la Muerte feel and it's colourful is inhabited by equally colourful skeletons wearing sombreros and playing maracas. The main landcape feature is a Mayincatec inverted pyramid and its boss is a giant Olmec head. If you're not convinced, listening to the theme that plays in Tostarena town should do it.
      • Lake Lamode, in the Lake Kingdom, has distinctive Ancient Greece architecture, with Greek pillars all over the place. It is also reminiscent of France, being the capital of fashion and having a French-sounding named ("la mode" meaning 'the fashion" in French).
      • Though there's no hint of it in the final game, the Steam Gardens, in the Wooden Kingdom, were originally named Kogwald, which would make the Wooded Kingdom based on German forests ("wald" means "forest" in German). This would be supported by the kingdom's advanced technology; it's German engineering
      • New Donk City, in the Metro Kingdom, is a very obvious reference to New York City. It is a gigantic metropolis that has countless skyscrapers, the same atmosphere, and it has almost the same name as New York City. It is even referred as The Big Banana, a reference to NYC's surname "the Big Apple".
      • Shiveria, in the Snow Kingdom, seems to be based on Russia. This frigid area's name sounds almost like "Siberia", and one of the souvenirs that can be bought here are matryoshka dolls.
      • Probably the most subtle of them all is Bubblaine, in the Seaside Kingdom, which is based on the Côte d'Azur, also known is the French Riviera. It is inhabited by beret-wearing snails, and has a massive champagne flute as its most prominent landmark. Moreover, both the region's boss, Brigadier Mollosque-Lanceur III and two of it's levels (Bonjour, Dorrie! and Merci, Dorrie!) have French names.
      • Mount Volbono, in the Luncheon Kingdom, is based on Italy, a country famous for its food. It is namely modeled after the Vesuvius region, as it has Roman architecture and has is volcanically active. And Volbono town's music is definitely Italian.
      • Bowser's Castle, in Bowser's Kingdom is a painstakingly accurate Japanese castle, with 3 concentric walls, (accurately translated as "maru" in the Japanese version) yagura towers, arrow holes, and even a traditional Japanese garden with a tea house where the level's Crazy Cap is located. Mario can obtain accurate samurai armor and Japanese festival clothing by spending traditional Japanese ryō, the 2D platforming section is a traditional set of Japanese screens, some of the sound effects are replaced by a samisen, the enemies wear traditional Japanese jingasa and sandogasa hats, kois inhabit the water ponds, the kingdom exports hanafuda cards and you can capture jizo statues common throughout Japan. The main keep is guarded by thunder and wind guardian statues found at Japanese temples and shrines, there are two large shrine buildings visible in the castle, and the entire level is filled with waving Japanese battle flags and festival banners.
  • Tales Series:
    • It's not particularly difficult to see Fendel in Tales of Graces as being an analog of Mother Russia. It's perpetually snowy, resource-poor and just plain poor; an autocratic state full of soldiers and suffering. But what really drives this home is the comparison between Fendel and Windor, the home nation of The Hero. The two countries have a long and bitter rivalry—but when Asbel actually goes to Fendel and sees its towns for himself, he's left wondering to himself how these poor people could possibly be his "hated enemies," much like what happened when the United States came face to face with how poor in actuality the USSR was.
      • This is all true, except that Windor itself is slightly more reminiscent of England. The architecture of Barona and Gralesyde seems to blend Dutch and English influence, it's a monarchy, and of course there's the ties to English royalty — there's been a few English King Richards, for one, and then there's the Windsor/Windor pun.
      • Along with those, some Strahtan cities — Yu Liberte in particular — seem influenced by Islamic architecture.
    • The city of Grand Chokmah in Tales of the Abyss is basically ancient Rome on the water, complete with an Emperor; its overworld model looks like a floating Colosseum.
    • Rieze Maxia from Tales of Xillia is based heavily on the Mongol Empire. It's culture tends to be similar to that of the Asian steppes and many of it's place names are derived from the names of actual central Asian cities. Elympios, on the other hand, tends to be more based in Slavic Mythology and folklore.
  • Trails Series:
    • The Kingdom of Liberl, the setting of the first Arc, is vaguely based off of England, being a monarchy with a mostly English naming scheme.
    • The Empire of Erebonia is one to Prussia, including a Germanic naming scheme and a character who's based after Otto von Bismark, nicknamed "The Blood and Iron Chancellor"
    • Crossbell City, the setting of the second Arc, is one to Hong Kong, a hotly contested, massive metropolis that's considered the heart of commerce of the continent. It's also one to New York due to also being a hotspot for immigration.
    • Arteria is one to the Vatican, being the official city-state of the Septian Church.
    • The Republic of Calvard is one to America, being a democratic state and a major superpower in the continent. Like Crossbell, it's also a hotspot for Eastern immigrants.
    • The unnamed countries of Eastern Zemuria are one to both China and Japan.
  • Tears to Tiara is based on Celtic culture, mythology, and the Roman Empire. The sequel also has a Classical setting, this time around the Western Mediterranean and Phoenician culture.
  • A lot of this in Thera: Legacy of the Great Torment:
    • The Kingdom of Avalon is very much medieval England with some Arthurian legend thrown in. They get grail knights and longbows and even the men of Sherwood, and are naturally enemies of the Celtic Gaelic Nations.
    • The Bons Chevaliers/Royaume Du Meravangi are medieval France. Fancy men in fancy armour on fancy horses making fancy war.
    • The Grand Duchy of Dracule is Poland, Lithuania and Transylvania under Vlad the Impaler's rule. A poor, xenophobic and primitive kingdom using armies of peasant serfs with halberds and pikes, backed up by Polish-style winged hussars and really scary knights in spiky black armour. Version 4 reworks the faction a bit to make Dracule a bit more modern.
    • The Holy Order of the Pale Knight is a stand-in for the Principality of Antioch, with a lot of knights and crusaders.
    • The Men of Valhalla are migration-era Vikings (as in, the Odin-worshipping, axe-swinging, mead-swilling, raid-and-pillage kind). The Men of Wotan share some Vikingness with their western cousins, but have more of a medieval Rus thing going on.
    • The Vashta and Barka Sultanates are the Turks and Egyptians, respectively.
    • The Tahar Caliphate appears to be an analogue to the Moors at first, given that they have hostilities with the Hispanic inspired nations (Ducado de Sangre Valiente and Povos de Hispania). On a closer examination of their unit roster, their army appears to have a heavy Indian influence, given their access to war elephants and that most of their units wear Indian dress. Some of their units also resemble Zulu warriors.
    • Povos de Hispania are the Celt-Iberians, down to the paganism and love of slingers and skirmishers, but also have some Portuguese influences too. Ducado de Sangre Valiente is Conquistador-era Spain, with some Aragon thrown in.
    • The Faustian Reich is the Holy Roman Empire in Version 3. Version 4 significantly overhauls the faction, keeping the Holy Roman side but also throwing in Prussia and the British Empire, as they gain musket-armed line infantry, grenadiers and pistol cavalry.
    • The League of Privateers are a mix between standard theatrical "yo-ho-ho" pirates and the Italian city states. Again, Version 4 gives them more modern technology, throwing in elements of revolutionary-era America.
    • The Romuli Empire is obviously based on the Roman Empire.
    • The Gaelic Nations are a mix of Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Pict and Celtic-Briton influences. Version 4 makes them more of a "barbarian" faction, with more shades of iron-age pre-Roman conquest Britain. Their way of war is men with big swords and axes, with little armour but plenty of pluck and smelly woad.
    • The Lao Che Khanate is very obviously Mongolian in Version 3. Version 4 adds a lot of Ming Chinese, feudal Japanese and medieval Korean influence. Horse archers, samurai heavy infantry, repeating crossbowmen, you name it.
    • The Uruk Dominion is a... well, it's an expy for Isengard, but there's a lot of Sparta and ancient Greece in there, as well as Spartacus.
    • The Warriors of Kukulcan and the Paynal Empire are the Aztecs. The Sycorax nation is based off various Native Americans, with some prehistoria thrown in for flavour — they get tomahawk-wielding heavy infantry in bone armour and woolly mammoths.
  • Time Crisis:
    • Sercia = Serbia
    • Caruba = portmanteau of Cuba and Aruba
    • Lukano, although set in the Mediterranean, appears to be based on Lugano, Switzerland
      • Also in the third game: Astigos = Cyprus, and Zagorias Federation = Turkey
    • Time Crisis 4 mostly averts this by being set explicitly in the United States. City names are not mentioned, but Stage 1 looks like a stand-in for San Francisco (due to the hilly cityscape in Stage 1 Area 2 and a cable car in Stage 1 Area 3) and Stage 2 is Yellowstone National Park in all but name.
  • Total Annihilation: Kingdoms: Aramon is your standard medieval European kingdom, with knights and castles and wizards and farmsteads. Veruna is a unique combo of ancient Greece with Scotland, an island kingdom with white stone cities between rolling hills, where men in kilts maintain mighty warships. Taros is a mix of feudal Japan and Mordor, an evil kingdom where zombies, ghosts and skeletons clad in samurai armour stand guard over warlocks and necromancers in ceremonial robes. And then there's Zhon, the odd one out, a savage land populated by primitive tribesmen and all manner of monstrous creatures.
  • Brittania in the Ultima games is essentially early medieval/Arthurian England recreated on another planet, with religious elements derived from Hinduism and other places.
  • Valkyria Chronicles, essentially a mild fantasy version of World War II, has a fantasy counterpart for nearly everything that went on in Europe at that time (including the continent itself, which is named "Europa"). The most notable example are the Darcsen, a persecuted race who have managed to hold on to their heritage and customs despite being scattered all over the world. Although clearly based on WWII-era Jews, they also wear shawls for (vaguely defined) religious reasons and have a (unjustified) reputation for blowing people up and causing havoc that may have been inspired by recent attitudes toward Muslims. Many of the fantasy counterparts in the game blend together elements of different cultures like this.
    • The East Europa Imperial Alliance (or The Empire) has elements of Germany and if you look closely into the Empire's backstory and structure, there's more than a passing resemblance as well to the Habsburg Empire/Austria-Hungary. Location-wise, it is in the far east of Europa that covers a large chunk of land, which strongly resembles the Soviet Union. Hell, the event that sparked the First Europan War was essentially a slightly edited version of Franz Ferdinand's death.
    • Gallia itself seems to incorporate many elements of Switzerland and Finland. It has universal conscription as well as fighting hard against a larger invader. Also Gallia is wedged between larger powers in the north west coast of Europa and tries to remain neutral in the conflict, similar to the low countries like Belgium and the Netherlands.
    • Yahtzee lampshaded this in his Zero Punctuation video by using names like "Bermany" to describe the setting.
    • Subsequent games have The United Kingdom of Eidenborrough and their ally, The United States of Vinland. Vinland came in late, has the best rocket launchers (a much more efficient design than the Europans, who insist that they look like jousting lances so they can still have knights for traditions sake, while Vinland has a recoilless system that look more like the BFG's they are), and developed a war-ending, city-breaking superweapon through unethical human experimentation, mimmicking both the Manhattan Project and cold-war era conspiracy theory fodder.
  • The Warcraft Universe has a lot of these, which is particularly evident in their architecture:
    • The human/undead towns and cities resemble 17th century and/or medieval Europe. They seem for the most part to emulate Britain, with many towns names ending in "shire" (whereas in the real world the shire is the area ruled by the town, e.g. Gloucester [pronounced "glosster"] is the county town of Gloucestershire [pronounced "glosstersher"]) like Darrowshire, Goldshire etc. Stratholm breaks this naming convention appearing germanic in origin, although being architecturally identical to Stormwind.
    • The different regions of human culture appear to be based on different regions of Europe as far as the names of areas go. Most have British (those ending in -shire or being made of English words), French (Brill, Tirisfal), or German-sounding (Stratholme, Stromgarde, Andorhal) names. The most obvious is Stormwind being based on England and to some extent France during the Late Middle Ages while the Northern areas of the continent are mostly either fully French or German with a few exceptions, such as Darrowshire.
      • Alterac, a kingdom settled on the mountains which attempted to remain neutral during the Second War appears to be modeled after Switzerland, with an in-game foodstuff called "Alterac Swiss" making it more apparent. Unfortunately, as a smoldering ruin (they attempted to maintain neutrality by betraying the Alliance), it is no longer apparent what architectural style it had prior to destruction, though what remains is similar to other human nations.
      • Gilneas, home of the playable Worgen, resembles Victorian England in both architecture and fashion, they are also more modern than the medieval based nations as they use gunpowder based weapons and speak in cockney English accents and speak in stereotypical English mannerisms.
      • Kul Tiras is an interesting nation. It is a maritime sailing kingdom whose main industry is fishing, whaling, and naval activities. The people who live there speak in sailor-like cockney English accents while their architecture seems to be based on the 17th century buildings in Britain and America during colonial times.
    • The tauren's culture is inspired by Great Plains Native American tribes such as the Cheyenne and Dakota. Their buildings are made of animal hides, and many of their cultural aspects are directly lifted from Plains Natives, such as the dead being cremated, and one quest involves helping a young man gather feathers for a ceremonial headdress. But as with most of the player character cultures it isn't totally one-to-one. There's also a lot of elements from ancient Central Asian cultures (such as sky burials, writing, highly developed water management technology, and a monotheistic religion). The architecture of Thunder Bluff also recalls the West Coast tribes, moreso than the Plains tribes: with totems (of course) and two-level wooden structures that connect to each other with bridges. Their canoes are also based on the West Coast tribes.
    • The orcs were originally a mix of huns and mongols. However, after the retcon about them being good instead of evil, they've gotten more and more of the positive cultural and architectural motifs connected to barbarians, their main city being a glorified camp site in a ravine, everything made out of animal hides and with spikes. There are also elements of Samurai Bushido in their battle culture, particularly in their "Victory or Death" philosophy. Essentially, orcs owe more to Star Trek's Klingons than to any real culture.
    • The Orcs actually retain a lot of parallels to the Mongols/generally the Russian Steppe. The history of Ogrimmar is quite similar to the history of Karakoram: and their concept of honor is not dissimilar to that of the Mongols. Also, they have shamans who are greatly respected in their culture. Also, prior to settling on Azeroth they were nomads.
    • Jungle trolls speak with Caribbean accents, practice voodoo, do capoeira, and live in huts, while building giant Mesoamerican-style Temple cities and practicing human(oid) sacrifice.
    "What do ya mean what kind of accent is dis? It's a Troll accent! I swear ja-makin' me crazy."
    • Forest trolls speak with Hispanic accents, build giant Mesoamerican-style pyramids and have human(oid) sacrifice.
    • Ice trolls use floating weapons, zulu shields and tiki masks to guards their houses, and build giant Mesopotamian-style/Babylonian Zigurats, while worshipping/killing animal gods, and practicing human(oid) sacrifice.
    • Sandfury trolls seem to be based on a mix of ancient Egypt and the Aztecs. Their dead are mummified, but the couple of pyramids in the Zul'Farak dungeon are Aztec style. And they practice human(oid) sacrifice.
    • Zandalari Trolls, which are the progenitor race that all other Troll subspecies evolved from are also Mesoamerican in architecture and unlike the above list, they speak in more continental African accents and don't seem to practice human(oid) sacrifice.
    • The qiraji and some silithid have a sort of amalgamation of Egyptian and Mesopotamian architecture (most of the Silithid live in enormous hives).
    • The night elves are an unholy mashup of Classical Greece and Feudal Japan, with some Nordic and Celtic elements as well. Fluted columns stand side by side with torii in many parts of their lands. Also, the style of dress of night elf male aristocrats greatly resembles Japanese court robes: but, being elves, their fashion sense is more androgynous than any real-world culture aside from the Babylonians and/or Byzantines.
    • The blood/high elves, on the other hand, have influences from the Middle East. Their buildings often are adorned with geometric archways, rugs and floor cushions, and hookah pipes. Their voices and mannerisms, however, resembles the 20th Century American stereotypes of valley girls for the females and effeminate men for the males.
    • The dwarves' use of runes and their hairdos and braided beards seems inspired by the vikings. They talk with very thick Scottish accents and can do the Cossack dance, however. There's also a lot of parallels to Scotland in their uneasy relationship to the Stormwind humans, and their feuding tribes. This combination of cultures is less ahistorical than one might think because for quite a while Vikings actually ruled parts of Scotland.
    • The draenei are a bit all over the place, with eastern European accents, Crystal Spires and Togas architecture, some Southern Asian and Middle Eastern influences, and Greek-sounding names (and their accent is probably supposed to be Greek, but the way some of the actors do it it sounds more Russian). They also have a sliver of ancient Biblical Jewish traits in them as they are a Proud Scholar Race Guy and their history is based on being exiled of their homeland and wondering to different lands to find a new home while being persecuted. Their space ship is named the Exodar (let that sink in) and had suffered a terrible genocidal attempt while they have a unshakable devotion to their religion of the Holy Light even in their darkest hours. They also use some Persian-Indian music as their theme as the places they populate tend to have some semi-Hindi sounding music.
    • The pandaren have a pseudo-Chinese culture. They were originally styled as samurai, but this offended Chinese players since pandas are their national animal (for that matter, China is the only place in the world where they're found in the wild, and they do NOT get along with Japan with historical grievances). With the namesake continent of Pandaria becoming available in World of Warcraft, this has been expanded greatly, along with other races inhabiting the continent that tend to also draw on Chinese/Asian culture. For example, the Mogu, whose very name in Chinese roughly translates as "devil ancient" (and indeed most new races and creature are named more or less after Chinese words). The local demigods resemble the four Chinese mythological symbols for cardinal directions, except for the Tortoise being replaced with an Ox. And Pandaria has a Great Wall of its own, with the insectoid Mantid presumably representing a threat akin to the Mongols with their warrior culture.
    • The tuskarr, who live in the cold north, seem to be the walrus-ified version of the Inuit with heavy Maori and Samoan influences.
    • And the vrykul are clearly inspired by the old vikings, complete with giving their leaders Swedish/Norwegian names.
    • The centaurs seem to be inspired by the Mongols: They're barbarian nomads, they live in tents, the males have Asian-looking facial hair, and many fight with bows, evoking Mongolian mounted archers with the horse and archer rolled into one. Their tribal leaders are even called Khans. Since the original centaurs may be East European mounted archers with the horse and archer rolled into one, it's a reinvention of an Older Than They Think archetype. However, female centaurs cover their faces Middle Eastern style.
    • Goblins and Gnomes are unique as being the only two races without a direct real-world counterpart. While the gnomes are, well, gnomes, the goblins are extremely materialistic and Mafia-esque. They bear the strongest resemblance to a parody of modern American culture, complete with the thick New Jersey accents and having a time period that resembles the period of Americana from the 1920's to the 1960's with garden flamingos in decoration in their yards and using Jazz as their theme of music.
      • It's been theorized that, each in their own way, both goblins and gnomes represent stereotypical Jews. The gnomes are the positive depiction of Jews, having lost their original homeland (and only very recently recovered and must still fight for it), forced to live among other races (who appreciate them for their academic skills, craftsmanship and intelligence while disliking them otherwise), and keeping their own culture hidden while having a strong focus on scholarship, science and mysticism. Goblins are the negative Jewish stereotypes, being greedy, manipulative, and amoral, and having large noses but also being scientific and mercantile geniuses.
    • The Tol'vir are feline centaurs are yet another NPC race based on ancient Egypt; they have pyramids and obelisks, statues depicting humanoids with various animal heads, and they live in a desert with a large river in the middle of it.
    • Warlords of Draenor introduces a large ogre empire that had once conquered most of the known world of Draenor, but has since come into rapid decline as the barbarian orc tribes push it back to its center of power in Nagrand while the outer reaches fall into ruin. In other words, the ogres of all races have been turned into Rome, which is an inspiration specifically pointed out by Blizzard developers. Word of God says that the southwestern continent just barely visible on the Draenor map is the ogre homeland, so theoretically that could have a much more powerful ogre empire, the Eastern Roman Empire equivalent.
    • More recently, the Forsaken have been using chemical weapons, have begun hating other races with a passion, and creating concentration camp-like settlements
  • The Witcher: The nation of Temeria is similar high medieval Lithuania while neighboring Redania is similar to medieval Poland. Kaedwen could be Ruthenia or even medieval Hungary. Nilfgaard is the Holy Roman Empire looking east as during it's forays and expeditions into Central Europe and Baltic states during the 12th and 13th centuries. The Duchy of Toussaint represents parts of Southern France and Occitania. Skellige combines Scottish and Viking cultures, specifically the Geats and Danes of Beowulf fame who also settled in Ireland for a time and absorbed some of the native culture. Dwarves are similar to medieval European Jews, while Elves are a combination of Celtic cultures combined with Rome or Byzantium long after both have fallen. The Ofieri can be seen as either Persian, Yemeni, or Ottoman.
  • Some of the areas in Wizard 101 include Kroktopia (Ancient Egypt), Aquila (Ancient Greece and Rome), Marleybone (Victorian England), and others.
  • Most of the countries in Kairosoft's World Cruise Story are pretty obvious stand-ins for Real Life nations, some even utilizing historical names for those regions: Zipang (Japan), Zhongguo (China), Briton (UK), Merica (US), Deutsch (Germany), Gullia (France), Ruska (Russia), Wahai (Hawaii), Aegyptus (Egypt), and Tenochtitlan (Mexico).
  • In the Ys series, the world map is an altered version of the Mediterranean. Eresia = Eurasia, Afroca = Africa (obviously), Romun = Roman Empire, Xandria = Alexandria (Egypt), Altago = Carthage, Atlas = Atlantis, Canaan Vortex = Bermuda Triangle, etc.
    • Ys VII came with a cloth map that made it blatantly obvious that the world the Ys series takes place in is an alternate Earth. The most obvious parallel is that the country in what is Greece in our world is named Greek, and Africa is Afroca. They aren't even trying to hide it.
    • The Rehda in Ys VI are culturally reminiscent of Native Americans.

    Webcomics 
  • The Back o' Beyond begins in Sairith, a country very similar to 1700s Britain.
  • The Erogenians in The Challenges of Zona are somewhat idealized Celts while Kivallia seems to be Plantagenet era England.
  • Crystal Heroes takes place in the country of Ramecia, which, in its name, indicates it as being a fantasy version of the United States of America.
  • Dominic Deegan has a several fantasy cultures that are strongly flavored by real-world counterparts: the Callanians are medieval western Europeans (knights, castles, feudalism, etc.), Semashi are renaissance Italian (high culture and homeland of numerous renowned composers with names like Ciarenni and Montefiore; being as they're dark-skinned humans, it also suggests Caribbean influence), the werewolves are Russians (living in northern latitudes and drinking lots of vodka), the Nagasta are Japanese (island-dwellers who are renowned for their seafood and traditional martial arts), and the orcs are Magical Native Americans.
  • Niyam and the Fae in Even In Arcadia are counterparts to 19th century China. Seen further when it becomes apparent that the Gaians are trading with them in drugs much like the British did before the Opium Wars.
  • In Harkovast, almost all the races are fantasy counterparts to real world ancient cultures, such as the medieval European Darsai or the feudal Japanese Tsung-Dao.
  • Parodied in Homestuck by Gamzee Makara, who comes from a sort of fantastical, Interfaith Smoothie religion that worships the Insane Clown Posse. Except due to shenanigans, his religion actually inspired Insane Clown Posse, not the other way around. Gamzee's religion was actually inspired by an Eldritch Abomination.
    • Later on we learn trolls had a counterpart of Christianity, complete with a Jesus analogue, though it never moved past the "underground cult oppressed by an empire" stage (I guess that makes the Troll Empire Romans?). It's hinted that it was more successful in an Alternate Universe.
    • The trolls in general share many cultural practices with the Spartans, but it's uncertain if this was intentional.
    • We later find out that Damara, the pre-scratch version of The Handmaid, is from "Alternasia", which is this to Japan.
  • Sønheim in Leif & Thorn is closely based on Sweden and Norway, while neighboring Ceannis is more of a Culture Chop Suey. Thorn and his family are ethnically Iuilic, which is more or less fantasy!Jewish.
  • A Loonatic's Tale has an assortment; Nigota for Britain, and both Mercia and Mysteel for America (the trick is that they're versions of America from different time periods, and different attitudes; Mercia is the more peaceable colonial America, while Mysteel is a caricaturized version of modern America and our tendency towards ultra-patriotism, gun-nuttery, and warmongerdom).
  • The Order of the Stick: Azure City is one of mostly Japan and a little of the rest of East Asia also. We haven't seen much of the rest of the world, but it seems from the Pantheons the North will be equivalent to the Vikings, the West will be Mesopotamian, and the East would be Greek if the Eastern gods still existed to make this version of the world. A single panel glimpse of the other Southern Lands suggests they're Southeast Asian, Chinese, Himalayan, and Indian. The Western Continent turns out to be mostly warring Evil Empires and various Lizard Folk, although they do worship the Mesopotamian gods.
    Roy: Wait, should I call you "Miko" or "Miyazaki"? I mean, "Miko" clearly sounds like your given name, but I thought that the surname came first in feudal Japan.
    Miko Miyazaki: What is this "Japan" you speak of? I have never heard of it before.
    Roy: Good point.
  • Snow By Night takes place in a world that resembles the real one during Colonial Era, with Japethe corresponding to Europe, Everique corresponding to North America, Saronne corresponding to France, and Aradie corresponding to Quebec / Canada.
  • Like Sonic the Hedgehog, one of its major influences, Exterminatus Now has Taika—basically Japan according to near-future sci-fi anime, complete with Humongous Mecha and secluded daemon-hunting orders—and Rodina, which we haven't actually seen but is apparently the EN equivalent of Glorious Mother Russia.
  • Sorcery 101 uses this with the England counterpart called Terra. It's more an Alternate History world where some placenames differ than a fantasy counterpart.
  • Twice Blessed has Ustav, which is obviously Russia, Lajuria, which is obviously Spain, and others.
  • The Sahtan in Vattu come off as Rome by another name.
  • The Wolf at Weston Court takes place in a country that's this to Regency England.

    Web Original 
  • The hosts of Analog Control have proposed that the various dinosaurs in Star Fox Adventures are stand-ins for world religions. Most of these propositions are intentionally superfluous at best, though it does make them conclude the Always Chaotic Evil Sharpclaw are perhaps not as malevolent as they seem.
  • This trope is discussed (and mocked) in the following tweet from the Twitter blog Worst Muse: "If your alien culture isn’t a thinly veiled allegory for contemporary politics, what’s the point?"
  • Vulpines in the Darwin's Soldiers universe are analogues of modern-day Native Americans.
  • Neopets: Shenkuu is supposed to represent the Far East, Altador is Ancient Grome, Lost Desert and Qasala are Ancient Egypt, and Meridell and Brightvale are Medieval Europe. Mystery Island is based on Polynesia and other island cultures in the South Sea.
  • Nocte Yin lives in Xon, Erisire’s equivalent of the Far East. In the fifth book, we get an actual comparison of which place on Erisire approximates which on Earth.
  • Open Blue has the Axifloan Coalition, a loose alliance of colonial powers consisting of everything from a 17th Century Nazi Germany (Sirene), to Imperial Spain (Avelia), to the Dutch colonial powers (Remillia), to the Russian Empire (Yaman)... to Switzerland (Axiflos).
  • In RWBY, each of the Four Kingdoms on Remnant has certain elements borrowed a real-world culture:
    • The setting for the first three Volumes, the Kingdom of Vale (found in the eastern half of the central continent of Sanus) is an isolationist country that takes advantage of its natural borders to shun outside wars, with peace as its primary objective... at least on the surface, as its crafty leaders have long since realized that they cannot stay completely isolated, so they take quieter measures to get a head start on potential threats (i.e., Ozpin sending Huntsmen on stealth missions to investigate potential threats to Vale in neighboring kingdoms). In other words, they're loosely similar to the United States prior to both World Wars, with the western sea and eastern mountains for Vale replacing the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans as natural barriers, and a crafty leader like the aforementioned Ozpin subtly influencing foreign affairs serving as an analogue to first Woodrow Wilson and later FDR sending aid to the Western Allies through legal loopholes long before the Americans officially joined the related conflicts.
    • The Kingdom of Mistral on the eastern continent of Anima has a culture very reminiscent of Japan; houses with sloping rooftops, kitsune masks, Ninjas, poor resources, and close ties to the sea. However, it also unfortunately has a lot in common with 19th Century Singapore, as seen with both the aforementioned close ties to the sea and widespread criminal elements. And it also has some parallels to the Western Roman Empire during its decline, as both Mistral and Western Rome were massive empires whose borders were too large to be properly governed or protected despite the people therein all being unified under a common culture.
    • invoked Word of God has explicitly stated that the Kingdom of Atlas from the northernmost continent of Solitas is intended to be an equivalent to the United States of America after the Second World War and resulting military-industrial complex. It started out as a frontier kingdom that enjoyed a technological boom as a result of mining, and post-war innovations have made it the world's leader in technology. It also boasts the largest military out of all the kingdoms, with bases established throughout the world in the name of peace-keeping. And as a part of a criticism of the obvious racial and class inequalities found in the modern United States, the Kingdom of Atlas is plagued with inequality and Fantastic Racism, with the high-tech city of Atlas literally floating above the industrial slums of Mantle: The military and wealthy humans live in luxury in the "city of dreams" of Atlas, while the working class and Faunus live below in the crumbling, polluted Cyberpunk city of Mantle.
      • It also has several noticeable parallels to the British Empire during its height. Just like Atlas on Remnant, Great Britain was at the heart of the industrial revolution on Earth, and one of the reasons for Britain's dominance was because of the sheer amount of goods Britain churned out (which is paralleled in Atlas' economic dominance). The notoriously massive and powerful British navy is comparable to Atlas having a massive and highly advanced fleet of airships ready to unleash Death from Above on anyone foolish enough to oppose them. Similar to Atlas' military and government often being derided for brainwashing its own citizens, Britain had the common colonial tactic of creating schools in conquered territories so as to indoctrinate the local students into supporting British rule. And finally, the Schnee Dust Corporation's sheer economic power and influence along with being notoriously militarized and intertwined with Atlas' government (to the point where it's debatable who is really controlling whom) can be seen as a reflection of the power wielded by the British East India Company during the empire's height.
    • The Kingdom of Vacuo (found in the western reaches of the central continent of Sanus) was a once-prosperous area that is now isolated to the point where the inhabitants don't have as advanced technology as the outside world has, but still feature massive reserves of valuable natural resources (in this case, Dust) that are being taken advantage of by foreign invaders and corporations. Due to this foreign intervention, it's almost entirely a lawless wasteland, with multiple factions vying for control. While there may still be a significant central power in the area (Shade Academy), in practice there is no significantly powerful central government. In other words, Vacuo is the Remnant equivalent of both the African Congo and Middle East (Syria in particular) after the end of Western imperialism.
    • Finally, the "free" continent of Menagerie is clearly based off of Australia. Its founders were forced to settle there (though Australia's non-native settlers were British prisoners, while Menagerie was settled to serve as a continent-wide Fantastic Ghetto for the Faunus), it's located at the bottom right of the map, it's two-thirds desert, and its wildlife is noted to be far more dangerous than what is found on than the rest of the planet.
  • Every culture in The Solstice War is one. Fitting since everything's a historical reference.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: The series is influenced by a variety of different cultures from Asia and even parts of the Americas and Oceania, although Chinese cultural influences are the most dominant.
    • The Air Nomads are primarily based on Shaolin and Tibetan Buddhism, mixed in with a fair bit of The Shangri-La and Western conceptions of Buddhist pacifism. In particular, their near-extinction at the hands of the Fire Nation can be paralleled with that of the invasion and sinicization of Tibet by the Chinese Communist Party. Additionally, their nomadic lifestyle and loose (but vaguely theocratic) social structure resembles the early schools of Buddhism practiced in Mongolia.
    • The Water Tribes are primarily based on circumpolar indigenous cultures such as the Inuit. The Southern Water Tribe also borrows from various Polynesian and Native American cultures, while the architecture of the Northern Water Tribe capital adds a mix of Chinese, Venetian, and even Indian influence.
    • The Fire Nation is based on a combination of Imperial China and post-Meiji Imperial Japan. Like Imperial Japan, the Fire Nation is an authoritarian volcanic archipelago state technologically superior to its neighbors, with a coal-based military-industrial complex that justifies its conquests with the premise of "sharing prosperity" and uses methods like emperor worship and schoolbook propaganda to control its people (additionally, this blog post draws several parallels with the Tokugawa Shogunate). Firebenders are more powerful when the sun is up, and the rising sun happening to be the main symbol of Japan. Additionally, the comics depict the early inhabitants of the Fire Islands from the time before it became the Fire Nation as resembling the Ainu, the indigenous people of Japan. However, the Fire Nation's material culture is primarily Chinese, particularly that of the Han and Tang Dynasties (perhaps not coincidentally, the Chinese influence on Japanese culture was at its strongest during the Tang Dynasty); this is to create a contrast between the two superpowers of the Avatar universe, with the Fire Nation based on the periods of history where China was at its most powerful while the Earth Kingdom based on China during its period of "decline" (the late Qing Dynasty). The Fire Nation also utilizes elements of Thai architecture, most noticeably in the roofing. The geology of the Fire Nation capital was based on Iceland, which may seem a little weird until you remember that Iceland is one of the most tectonically active places on the planet.
    • The ancient city of the Sun Warriors (the precursor culture to the Fire Nation) is based off a combination of Mesoamerican and Southeast Asian architecture, while their clothing seems to be primarily derived from Southeast Asian tribal cultures, particular the headdresses which resemble Iban warrior headdresses.
    • The Earth Kingdom is based on various periods of Imperial China. While its political situation parallels that of the Qing Dynasty's last days, being an ailing empire struggling to keep control over its territories while getting brutally mauled by foriegn invasions (the Earth King even bears a close resemblence to the last Qing emperor), its culture draws from every Chinese dynasty; Toph's family wears Tang-era clothing, Aunt Wu's usage of oracle bones for divination comes from the Shang Dynasty, etc. It also has areas influenced by Vietnamese tribal cultures (the Foggy Swamp Tribe, despite their Mississippi Delta accent), the Ryuku Kingdom (Kyoshi Island), the Gobi Desert (the Shi Wong desert), and Korea (as seen with the hanbok worn by Song in the episode "Cave of Two Lovers"), each paralleling a real-life tributary held by Imperial China.
    • Guru Pathik is pretty obviously supposed to be Indian, but nobody else of his ethnicity appears. Also, despite being a "spiritual brother" to the Air Nomads, he is explicitly not one himself. His title, philosophy, and spiritual practices give him a distinctly Hindu flavor, but like everything else in the series, it is a mish-mash of distinct schools and traditions (particularly tantric yoga and Advaita Vedanta).
    • Sequel Series The Legend of Korra adds a few more examples:
      • Republic City is a new state made up of peoples from all four nations, which grew out of the liberated colonies of a powerful empire, and is quickly becoming the world's cultural and industrial centre. Essentially it is a mix of America in The Roaring '20s with cosmopolitan Asian city-states like Hong Kong and Singapore (plus some other admitted influences like Nationalist-era Shanghai). The giant statue of Aang in the harbour is a clear parallel to the Statue of Liberty.
      • The Korra-era Earth Kingdom is still mostly based on the Qing Dynasty's final years; the realm is rife with poverty, the people are increasingly turning against their anachronistic and out-of-touch monarchy, and the Earth Queen herself is a dead ringer for Empress Dowager Cixi. However, it also has some Wild West influences: an urban and wealthy east and poor and rural west, the Kingdom being composed of semi-independent states ruled by Governors, an abundance of isolated farmsteads and small towns, large areas of relative lawlessness policed by sheriffs, and many of the settlements visited by the heroes have a distinctly Settling the Frontier feel to them. Which makes some sense considering that the war and the devastation wrought by Ozai during the comet would have set the outskirts of the Earth Kingdom back decades. After Zaheer kills the Earth Queen, the Earth Kingdom becomes more akin to early post-Qing China, with warlords and bandits running rampant until a revolutionary nationalist despot is finally able to reunite the country.
      • The Earth Kingdom's successor state, the Earth Empire, is reminiscent of many 20th-century dictatorships; Kuvira's revolutionary rhetoric is reminiscent of both Mao Zedong and Chiang Kai-Shek, as are her hardline views on reunification, while the Earth Empire as a whole smacks strongly of Putting on the Reichnote , particularly the heavy use of internment camps for what's basically a more family-friendly ethnic cleansing, plus the superweapon obsession.
      • Given how the Fire Nation played the role of Imperial Japan in the original show, it's perhaps appropriate that the reformed Fire Nation of Korra has a far less militaristic approach to foreign relations, to the point where its leader (Zuko's daughter) refuses to launch a preemptive strike on the Earth Empire precisely because she doesn't want to repeat the mistakes of her predecessors.
  • Sofia the First takes place in the Ever Realm, another realm connected to the "real world". The Ever Realm is home to many kingdoms and is relatively peaceful (at least in the present; whatever violent history they may have if any is never addressed, with Word of God also stating that colonization never happened here).
    • Enchancia was widely theorized to be the equivalent of Britain, although Word of God would later joss this, stating that it's not based on any place specifically.
    • Freezenburg is one for various Scandinavian countries. From what little we see of it, it's usually snowy.
    • Wei-Ling is based on China, with Mulan also being summoned in the same episode Sofia visits the kingdom to further seal the similarities.
  • Elena of Avalor:
    • Similar to the Avatar franchise, Avalor and its neighboring kingdoms are based on a mishmash of various Latin American countries. Cariza seems to be more based on the Caribbean islands judging by its Afrolatina populace, Cordoba seems to be based on Argentina and Uruguay due to Cordoba's main colors being similar to those two countries as well as Prince Alonso's outfit appearing to be inspired by historical Argentinian/Uruguayan fashion.
    • Galonia is a Latino Jewish kingdom, representing the Jewish population in Latin America.
    • Satu is one for Japan, with its royals wearing kimonos, in addition to their names obviously being Japanese (Toshi, Shoji, Tomiko).
    • Norberg is based on colonial-era America, which is best shown with Naomi and Ambassador Nathaniel's clothes. Fans originally theorized it was based on the Netherlands or Scandinavian countries for the same reason, although there certainly was Dutch presence in colonial-era America and before that.
  • Futurama:
  • In Kulipari: An Army of Frogs a very odd example in that the soundtrack, art and mythology are clearly based off aboriginal Australians, but almost everything else about the in-universe factions, from clothing to social structure, are more medieval European. The scorpion army adds in a few Mongolian and Roman trappings, while the turtles are more comfortably native papuans. Naming is all over the place, with English names like Darrel, aboriginal Australian names like Jarrahnote  and just the plain weird like Marmoo.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Zecora the zebra in is obviously supposed to be from an African counterpart culture, given her accent and the fact that that her hut is decorated with stylized African masks. She was even meant to speak Swahili in her few foreign language lines, but the staff couldn't find a translator in time and resorted to writing invented words that mimic the general sound of Swahili. The canon explanation is that Zecora "speaks Zebra."
    • The buffalo tribe in "Over a Barrel" were obviously supposed to be the Plains Indians in the "Cowboys vs. Indians" setup of the episode.
    • Pinkie Pie apparently grew up on what is supposed to be a fantasy counterpart Amish rock farm — a literal one where her family grows actual rocks, somehow — complete with the conservative fashion, Nice Hat-and-sideburns-wearing father and parents sleeping in separate beds.
    • Pegasus ponies in general seem to take some influence from Classic Greek culture (which makes sense, considering pegasi are creatures from Classical Mythology). Their architecture and fashion seem decidedly Hellenistic, and they were portrayed as a Sparta-like martial culture in a "flashback" to old times.
    • Meanwhile, the other two types of ponies both represent Western Europe, but apparently evolved socially at different rates: In the aforementioned "flashback," the unicorns are stuck in The High Middle Ages with a feudal monarchy, while the earth ponies dress like continental Europeans (from France, the Netherlands, and Germany in particular) during The Renaissance and have elected a chancellor.
    • The setting of the Daring Do book series is quite plainly a pulp fiction-style depiction of South America, complete with Aztec/Mayan stone ruins and a villain, Ahuizotl, taken from Aztec Mythology.
    • Season 3 introduces the Crystal Empire, which blends late-Victorian architecture, Crystal Spires and Togas fashion sense, and medieval/Renaissance sporting events.
    • "Magic Duel" features visiting delegates from Saddle Arabia. An interesting note is that its male delegate carries a crescent moon coat-of-arms, and Saudi Arabia does not have this as its crest, although many of its neighboring countries do.
    • Season 5 introduces the Kingdom of Griffonstone, whose culture seems to be caught somewhere between the Urals and the Caucasian mountains (primarily Georgian, Armenian and Kazakh cultures) with a dash of Tibet and Mongolia to round out the society's remote mountainous flair.
    • Whereas Griffonstone mostly scratches Mongolian culture, Yakyakistan all but embraces it, combining Mongolian aesthetics with temper and attitude not unlike those of Vikings.
    • In "Campfire Tales", Mistmane's homeland, from its architecture to its culture to its dress styles, is openly based on imperial China.
    • The desert village southern Equestria seen in "Daring Done?" and in Somnabula's issue of Legends of Magic is heavily reminiscent of ancient Egypt. It is located close to ancient pyramids, its present citizens all seem to wear kohl and, in Somnabula's time, its residents all wore distinctly Egyptian clothing, the area was explicitly ruled by a Pharaoh and the beginning of the flashback segment recounting Somnabula's tale is in the form of animated hieroglyphics.
    • In the present day, locations in Equestria are based on different cultures of different eras:
      • Ponyville seems to be based on 17th to 19th century Europe, with their buildings' architecture mostly being timber-framed cottages, which were popular in places like England, France, Germany, Scandinavia, Scotland, and Switzerland from the Renaissance age to the 19th century.
      • Cloudsdale is very Greco-Roman in appearance, with plenty of columned porticos and even an amphitheater for public events like the Best Young Fliers Competition.
      • Manehattan is roughly based off 1940's New York City but with all the cars replaced with horse-drawn carriages. Some of which are painted like yellow checker cabs.
      • Appleoosa is a 19th century American wild-west settlement, similar to those seen in Westerns.
      • Canterlot seems to be inspired by France with a dash of Britain.
    • The official map of Equestria reveals significant similarities to North America, albeit with as many horse puns as they can stuff in ("Manehattan", "Fillydelphia", "Baltimare", "Vanhoover"...)
    • In Equestria Games, in addition to the Saddle Arabians (who are more horse-like than pony), there are pony-like delegates from other cultures: a mare with a half-sun-like headdress akin to the Incan or Mayan culture, and a stallion with a very Mesopotamian headdress, beard, and hair/mane style. We find next episode these two are representatives from Maretonia.
    • In "The Hooffields and the McColts", the titular feuding clans are very clearly Appalachian hillbillies.
    • Curiander Cumin and Saffron Masala, a father-and-daughter pair who appear in "Spice up your Life", are very Indian in their names, appearance, and in the style of the restaurant they keep. Cumin specifically mentions that they moved to Canterlot from a distant part of Equestria.
  • The Blizzarians in Storm Hawks are basically a species of Canadian furries (who live on the same planet as the human characters), complete with sometimes adding "Eh?" to the ends of their sentences. The series itself was made in Canada.
  • Super Friends did this a lot with alien worlds. There was Camelon the medieval planet, Texacana the cowboy planet, Zaghdad the Arabian Nights planet, etc.
  • TaleSpin had the Thembrians, warthog residents of a bureaucratic republic clearly intended to be analogous to Soviet Russia. Then there was Panda-La, a nation full of panda bears who were such blatant Asian stereotypes that the episode in which they appeared was eventually pulled from the lineup by Disney.
  • The Transformers (the original '80s cartoon) had the "Socialist Democratic Federated Republic" of Carbombya, whose leader was "Supreme Military Commander, President for Life, and King-of-Kings" Abdul Fakkadi, whose capital city's population was "4000 people and 10000 camels", and which was so stereotypically Arab and stereotypically evil that it prompted the departure of Casey Kasem—voice of Cliffjumper, Bluestreak, and the Teletraan-1 computer and of Lebanese descent—from the show.
    • Bulkhead of Transformers Animated is a "mudflap" from an "energon farm" — that is, basically a robot redneck. He gets a lot of flack for it when he first shows up at boot camp, but it's mostly due to his naivete rather than any inherent stupidity. In fact, he's actually an accomplished artist and the most skilled space bridge technician ever.
  • Most Human Alien members of the Winx Club hails from a Planet of Hats, ruled by one government and with only one culture. Stella, Aisha, Bloom, Flora, and Tecna all come from planets that reflect their personalities or connect to their powers in some way, but avert this trope by not having those cultures based on existing ones. However, Musa and her home planet Melody play this straight: Musa appears Asian, her parents' names are obviously meant to 'sound' Asian, and some of the outfits that she wears, are obviously based on Asian fashion, as are her mother's in flashbacks. Although it should be mentioned the planet's princess, Galatea is Caucasian, suggesting the planet is more diverse than it seems.

Alternative Title(s): Call A German A Smeerp

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